Well it’s been a long haul but I’m about halfway through this semester so I think it’s time to talk about what I’ve been learning. I’ve been listening in on a lot of great conversations on twitter and I have found that twitter is a great way to get “in the know” about new ideas. I’ve gone from a twitter avoider to someone that really enjoys it. I do wonder about the boundaries between professional and personal that seem to get blended on twitter. I find it hard to keep a professional relationship with people after you’ve read their drunk twitters, however that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps its a softening of the boss/teacher as god perspective that has reigned for a long time into a more approachable co-learner/leader perspective.
Remind 101 is awesome, but I doubt I’ll be using it in kindergarten but if I was teaching older students I would totally use it as a tool to safely incorporate cell technology into a classroom. I like that theirs a way to enter into the students world without needing to compromise their information privacy or yours. Combined with the cool cell poll/clicker technology I’ve seen it makes a strong argument to include cells into your classroom. The only reason I doubt I’d use it is that most kindergarteners don’t have their own cell phone however, that being said it could be a way to send reminders to parents about upcoming events and classroom requirements. So never say never 🙂 maybe I will use it.
That I am a google aficionado. I listened to Michael’s talk and while I found it really interesting most of it wasn’t shocking to me. I think that’s because I’ve been beta testing for google for a while so I’ve fallen down that rabbit hole. I love a lot of google tools. Google calendar I swear it saved my marriage, my late husband and I could both access our calendar, make changes and see what’s going on….brilliant! I know a friend who is divorced and remarried with step kids and all the parents share a google calendar to keep track of the kids schedules in a way that everyone can see and she swears it helps keep everything running smoother for the kids. I love google docs and was excited by the ways Michael shared that I can use it with kids in the classroom I actually hadn’t really thought through how to use it in a class setting so that pretty much blew my mind. Picasa is amazing! I use it when I travel to upload my photos and share them with my family back home all I need is an internet cafe. It was great to be in India and be able to quickly upload my photos, know that they were safe and that my family could see my adventures. I could go on for pages about the ways I use google but I think that would get boring. However, what I appreciate the most about google products is how easy they are to use. It’s obvious that they put a lot of time into their development and how people will use it. I guess the most useful tool I follow is the google labs where I find out about new products.
That students need someone to guide them in technology because it is not intuitive. No matter how comfortable with technology a student or teacher appears their is always new things to learn and ethics to think about. So as a teacher I need to teach my students how to think through new technology and lead the way in learning. I can choose to stay in the comfortable area but if I push myself outside of that box my students will benefit and their learning will be increased.