Sunday, April 25, 2010

Will you come out and play with me?

At the end of the year last year, I vowed to make it my personal/professional goal to become technology literate and a user of web 2.0 tools. I purchased my first iPhone last June. Since then, I have become a blogger, tweeter, Facebooker, wiki creater, open source media user, a Google fanatic, video uploader, web 2.0 promoter, 21st century skill advocator and overall supporter of the need to integrate opportunities for our students to collaborate, create and communicate using 21st century tools.

With my new found dedication to “eating up” everything I can get my hands on regarding new tools and resources to help teachers make changes in pedagogy, curriculum and assessment for today’s kids, I have encountered more criticism than support.

I have learned more this year through Twitter, than I have in the entire 3 years I have been doing my coursework for my doctoral degree. So I will continue blogging and tweeting with the hopes educators will get bitten by the curiosity bug and just explore!

The more I read and learn through my PLN, the more urgency I feel in sharing the wave of the future. Unfortunately, the request is to slow down. I know the importance of not doing too many things at once (or at least I try not to implement too many things at once), but technology integration is not one of them. Our kids are already leaving us behind. The longer we wait the more exponential the increase in knowledge our students will have about technology compared to teachers.

What is our solution? How can we get teachers to “play with” and explore these free resources? Can we really create 21st century schools?


Friday, April 2, 2010

It is Not my Cell Phone it is my Mobile Learning Device!

I thought I was an iPhone freak. I thought I was maybe a little obsessed. I had free resources to access current trends in education at my fingertips any hour any day. My friends and family became annoyed by my constant references to the “latest tweet” or from an app that allows me to speak into my phone and dictate to my blog. I became defensive. Why are you making fun of me when I am learning outside of a regular classroom setting, compared to when I carried the latest educational magazine or book in my hand?

I tease back, that “I am learning new things 24/7 and what are you all doing with your phone that only makes and receives calls?” I said,  “This is not my cell phone this my mobile learning device! “

Then two weeks ago, I was with my sister, who is not an educator, and she got her first Smartphone, a Verizon Droid. Guess what, she was acting just as weird as I was when I got my iPhone! She was talking about her new apps, playing the guitar and looking at stars. She is much more “in the know” with her “current trends” that have nothing to do with education, but they keep her informed of what is going on in her world. Exactly the purpose of technology in the 21st century.

If you could have seen the excitement in her eyes when she showed us her new “tools” you would agree, if we could see that light in all of our students’ eyes we would find a way to get these tools in all of our students’ hands!