Social Media & Schools

Unfortunately, more and more policymakers are putting restrictions on teachers and students when it comes to using social media and in the end this hurts not only educators, but also our children.

Excerpt from: The Innovative Educator: Yes. Teachers & Students Should be Interacting – My New York Post Mention (link above).

I agree completely with her on this, and have written articles & posts about it too. What do you think?


Digital Immigrants?

First of all, being comfortable with and knowledgeable about technology has nothing to do with age. I know middle schoolers who are neither. I never touched a computer until college and when I did, I booted up that Apple IIe and never looked back! I think it has everything to do with an innate curiosity and a willingness to learn new things. The teacher who wants to teach one year, 35 times, will never embrace technology. The teacher who is constantly evolving and improving will certainly explore the possibilities technology brings to the classroom.

In this post, (No More Digital Immigrants) Mark Brumley exhorts us to stop using the digital immigrants term. He provides many good reasons to do so. I have fought this battle for awhile now. I get what Prensky was getting at, but the terms are unfortunate – and the concept is flawed. Research (including a project I am involved with) point out the inaccuracy of this. I am (just) over 55 and I started suing computers in high school (yes – punch cards & mainframes) and have been involved in using them since then. As Mark points out in this excerpt, tech skill has nothing to do with age – I encounter students who do not like or are comfortable with tech all the time. I sped considerable time showing and convincing aspiring teachers about the power of using digital technology for learning & teaching. I like how Mark words this passage – the message about teaching the same year over and over vs growing – what kind of educator do you want to be?

Changing Technology – Changing Classroom?

How do these societal trends change learning? How do they change how we need to structure classrooms? Are complete labs filled with computers an outdated model? Do we need infrastructure that is more seamless? Are classes that are focused purely on computers and technology an outdated model? Do we need more integrated systems?

Are schools still pursuing the desktop model of learning? Learning as a place, a thing that is separate and sits off in the corner all on its own when really we should be looking at something much more integrated and faster moving?

New technologies make new things possible. They allow us to move in new directions and consider new possibilities. We need to keep moving.

Interesting questions about the direction of computing & schools today by Manitoba teacher, Clarence Fisher (post: The Desktop Model of Learning? | Remote Access – link above).
How would you answer these questions?