Educational Technology Decision Making
“She walked up to the StarBoard with a banana and just started writing. She said, ‘Let’s say you were doing a health unit. Bring out a banana. Let’s say you were doing a unit on pumpkins. Bring out a pumpkin. You can write on this interactive whiteboard with anything.’ I thought: Kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, I mean even 8th graders would think that was cool.”
Yep. Writing with fruit and gourds. That’s solid pedagogy and clearly 8th graders find writing with bananas to be really “cool.” I’m sure I can find some research to back that up . . .
The first part of this post is actually useful. The second part is just me venting about the wrong application of time and energy that is, all too often, school filtering. So I started using Jaiku (like Twitter but with the ability to aggregate all your feeds and a few other neat tricks). Jaiku was blocked pretty quickly at school as a personal/dating site for some reason. I’ve stopped trying to guess the rationale behind certain things. I’ve been using Jott. This free service that allows me to call a number, say who I want to send the message to, dictate and that person (mostly myself) gets a text email of what I said and a link to the audio file as well. I highly recommend it.) Driving to work listening to net@night about egorcast which allows me to use Jott to post text to jaiku, twitter and wordpress– all with a simple phone call. So now I can post to a blocked site without even typing. Now if I could touch text with my phone imagine the fun I could have. This is the kind of flexible communication that schools are trying to stop. It has always been a losing battle but more so as phones and free services take it to the next level. I’ve heard way too […]
I’m at the State Educational Technology Directors Association leadership summit, yet I am clearly not a state director of anything. Nonetheless, it is an interesting place to be and I’ve heard and had a number of interesting conversations. I’m going to attempt to get a few of them down on digital paper before they get too buried in email and other mental garbage. Prior to the conference starting, I had some time to read Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius and it roughly corresponded with seeing another one of those useless top 100 web 2.0 apps for education lists on Twitter.Those lists make me root for alien invasions, the rapture and any number of other things that would end such stupidity. Anyway, the point was that the Montessori classroom was structured around choice but carefully selected choice. It went on to discuss that given more choice than they’re prepared for people become overwhelmed and constantly second guess their choice after the fact. I think that happens a lot with technology options. People are presented with all their options when in many cases they just need to choose between three or four that are presented to them. We (HCPS) need to give this some thought with regard to how we structure and display our digital tool options. Clearly, having a sense […]
I’m writing this stuff down in an attempt to hash it out in my own head. Feel free to help me find the right path (if there is one) or even decide if this is worth thinking about. Tool Exposure vs Literacy What we have going on today in many cases is the illusion of teaching literacy. In reality we’re just exposing students to toolsKeep all exposure puns to yourself.. I see quotes similar to this one all the time- The literacy tools of our day, today, include the web, netbooks, cell phones, cameras and recorders, etc. We are responsible for teaching students how to be literate. – source So essentially, we have to teach kids how to use all these things because that’s what it takes to make it in the world. In the past it was just reading, writing and some math so the only general tools you had to be able to use were a pen/pencil, paper and a book. Now the idea is, we have to teach students (and learn ourselves) how to use all this stuff, to learn which buttons to push on lots of different objects. Where these comments get messy for me is delineating what really requires different kinds of thought (bigger conceptual framework) and what is just today’s tool which needs only […]