Saturday, December 20, 2008

Something I understand...

This blog started as a reply to a posting by Cindy Putnam on Tech Tools. As I hit post comment, I realized that I understood the issues presented in her article. I have struggled as of late with the overwhelming amount of information I read everyday and it was a relief to come across a text that I could 'get'. It is good to know that I am not outside looking in, rather I believe that I am inside a crowded room, along the back wall, struggling to hear what is being said, but still inside with the masses!

What follows is the original posted comment:

I completely agree with the comments made by Lauren Rosen above. The teacher in the first passage seems to be confusing classroom management with technology integration. A few of my colleagues and I use an assortment of technology in our rooms and have found that the students respond favorably, as they see the 'Old' attempting to embrace the 'New'. Yes, the leaning curve for both teacher and student is and will continue to be huge for the next while, and yes we both have and will continue to make mistakes, but I do not think shutting the door and pretending technology will go away is the answer. I allow those student's that struggle to write quickly, or for that matter write legibly, the opportunity to use their camera phones to capture notes written on the board. I do insist that the student must transfer the images to another medium for future reference. I believe that the student then feels empowered, as they can listen and partake in the class discussion rather than becoming frustrated with their inability to keep up with their peers.

I do agree also with the second set of passages, but to somewhat a lessor degree. Yes, we as educators must teach the students how to use the newest technology responsibly, however I do not believe that I and my fellow teachers are the first stop on the learning train for students. I observe students teaching each other every day how to use the latest widget, or what the newest gadget is able to do. Conversations by students about technology happen in and outside of the classrooms, in the hallways, and on the buses, during the regular school day. Of course using texting to manage 'separation by distance' is a must for any 'sure thumbed' student today. Rather than be the facilitators of knowledge as to what the technology can and cannot do, I believe that our role is to help educate the users as to what should and should not be done with the technology. We must continue to provide the framework for teaching responsible Digital Citizens.

A collaborative network of student learners already exists; we as educators need to help the 21st Century Learner become a viable and willing participant in this new era of education.

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