Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Reflections of Summer Workshops

After 4 comprehensive summer seminars I find the need to defend my mad love of technology in the classroom and to temper this statement with my own dose of skepticism about the instant thrill of the bell and whistles. Sound contradictory to you? Me too but throughout I find the layering and depth possibilities of technology far, far outweigh the skepticism. Not to discount the merit of face to face dialogue, I find the possibilities of using all this technology as a platform to truly engage the students very exciting.
Check out this cool website on Mobile Learning. I'm with these

Even the New York City library has undertaken VoiceThread (coolest application yet.) They have done all the work for you and VoiceThread has facilitated the vital use of Flickr and other creative commons sites.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My current state of mind....

Friday, July 3, 2009

Continuous Path of Partial Attention

Overwhelming yes but the recent ISTE conference in DC left me in a technology sea - likely similar to what students swim in: so many things, so many attention grabbers. Just how do you decide where to go and what to do when the whole world is your road?

I left with a bag of tricks and a few signposts.
The larger signs pointed to
  • Constructive obstacles
  • The driving need to create assignments that reflect dissonance.

I found Malcolm Gladwell's keynote address particularly intriguing as his new book Outliers seems to advocate for the renewal of the Protestant work ethic with a new twist - respect the difficulty as a major component of a compensation theory to success. I couldn't figure out how this tied into a conference on technology and education until he hit that key component: FEEDBACK. Here was the key component; a WEB 2.0 component, and the discussion returns to the real merit of brick and mortar schools - a place of face to face dialogue. This is the element that bothers me with the flash and bells of technology use in the classroom. Too often it overlays and erases the need to actually talk to people, watch their faces, know their interests, argue and resolve differences, and pay attention to that vital right brain element of which Daniel Pink so convincingly speaks.
Here is the true challenge of technology and education: how do we combine these elements effectively?