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?



  1. Our students are utilizing technologies, but they are not using the same technologies that we, as tech teachers, want to integrate. The students emphasize social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. We want to emphasize blogs and wikis to get kids writing and collaborating. The question really needs to address the gap between the social and the academic. If tech tools can be shown to "capture" the student, teachers will adapt to it. Until it's "proven" as more than just a fad, teachers will remain skeptical. We need to bridge the social to academic gap in order to get that buy in from teachers. Technology alone is not a motivator. How do we move students from using technology for social networking to academic constructing and collaborating?

  2. A lot of the people I follow on Twitter do have lots of suggestions for using social networking sites in that can be scary, I believe it has a lot to do with educating kids to use social networks for for academic constructing and collaborating.

  3. Multiple issues.
    1) Physical equipment. Yes, our kids have phones, but how many have internet capable phones? and how many of those are connected? I love the idea of using technology that the kids have in hand, but if we end up needing to provide the physical equipment for students OR teachers we hit a barrier.

    2) Access. If we discover and then use twitter for its good features, how do we filter the bad?

    3) Resistance. I think if we have buy-in from staff that the program is solid, is backed by administration and the board and that it will be funded, we wouldn't see the resistance. I think there is an honest fear that we could get excited about something, buy-in and then have all that time and effort wasted if everyone is not on board.

    I think the productivity tech that we are using and beginning to implement is great, and is getting used. Like everything, there is a learning curve. For all. Google Docs is awesome, but the laptop lab won't connect to the wi-fi. There was a virus on one of the blogs and it kept crashing. Most teachers would not have the knowledge to debug those problems and we don't have the tech staff to help fix those issues. I am nuts about tech and want to integrate more and more. We need cash, we need support, and we need patience.

  4. There are several ways to do it. How about this. We can use a mini-grant like approach. Have a small group with the know how and desire try it and model it for the group and as they find success it can spread to the staff as a whole. The stuff that doesn't work gets left behind and by the time it gets to the less tech savvy(and sometimes more easily frustrated) we will have some of the bugs worked out.

  5. You know I am with you, and I am desperate to fix the bugs in our system...My ideas are similar to yours in that we will focus on our experts... and sometimes I think those might even be be our kids. As for your small group model, I think you might be in my head...for next year I am looking for four, any takers?