Archive for December, 2007

What’s Working?

Author: GDhuyvetter

As we begin to imagine and discuss what technology will be like in the next five years, I don’t want to forget where we are now. The school, facilities, equipment, and personnel, has made tremendous advancements over the past 10 years. We live and work in a truly technology-rich environment.

As you look at the equipment, software, and procedures that we have established so far consider

  1. What do you really like?
  2. What makes the job of a teacher easier and more effective?
  3. What parts of the technology “infrastructure” could we could expand or use even more?

Note: There will be other posts for concerns and complaints. These comments should focus on the positive.

I am not a teacher; only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead–ahead of myself as well as of you.
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Going “Live”

Author: GDhuyvetter

I have experimented with three entries before sending out the link to this site. I’ve had three reasons for this.

  1. I’ve been learning how to use the program and it’s only now that I’m feeling comfortable with navigation and composition
  2. I wanted to figure out some of the paramenters of how I would use the site
  3. I wanted to make sure that this type of communication was comfortable for me (somewhere in the blogisphere there must be a directory of one-entry blogs!)

I’m pretty good with #s 1&2 and only time will tell with 3. Similarly, I’m pretty sure that some of you may enjoy this type of communications and others will not.

I’m using the eee pc for all blog entries. I want to get some idea how it works as a practical tool (and not a toy). I’ll present my thoughts about the pc in a bit.

If this is your first time visiting the site, you can use the links on the right to read the first two entries.  I’ve also attached two RSS feeds that I watch with tips for educators.

A Different Type of Animal

Author: GDhuyvetter

At the beginning of the meeting I distributed the article “Global Natives Global Immigrants. I have always found this article as a useful starting point. Even though it is already five years old, it captures the change in students that we are seeing every day. A temptation for all is to categorize this change as “good” or “bad,” I prefer to simply accept that it is. In a way it is very freeing to approach these students as natives of a different country, my ways don’t have to be right and theirs wrong and vice-versa.

I think the bigger challenge comes with our role as educators. This is where the metaphor creaks a bit. We are immigrants with the job of raising the natives, so what parts of our culture must we essentially pass on to them and where must we accept the path of evolution? No one argues that for all their splendid facility with all things tech, that our students sometimes make HORRIBLE choices. How do we hate the choice, but accept the technology that made it possible?

A second problem we face is that the metaphor assumes a monolithic structure of “natives.” If we could assume that all of our students have these abilities, then we could learn and speak the language. Unfortunately young people are not uniform in their exposure and participation in the digital revolution. So whatever plans we put in place cannot be without instruction, and that instruction will need to be differentiated to meet the needs of all, something our system is not very good at doing.

I’m also not so sure about the conclusions of the article. Prensky seems to suggest that we turn most methodology over to video game designers (interestingly he IS a video game designer…w00t!). I think students can learn from games, but gaming is usually a solitary pursuit (even cooperative games are usually played by people at separate consoles miles (or countries) apart. The socialization and collaboration of the classroom cannot be matched by a video screen. Games of different sorts can be part of a solution, but they are not THE solution.

Anyway, if you want to read more of Prensky’s work, Part II of “DNDI” can be found at

http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part2.pdf

and his blog is at

http://www.marcprensky.com/blog/