Thinking about how to effectively, practically and authentically embed technology within my curricular area it seemed an important step to audit the technology I am currently using in my classroom. In finding a baseline of where I am at with technology I am hoping to receive some comments that can add to this list and steer me in directions with new apps, hardware, or management techniques.
Developing my PLN started this past October as I visited both Learning 2.0 and a NESA Visual Art Conference in Doha, Qatar. Madly filling virtual stickies with names of new apps for visual arts educators or educators in general I find far too often I don’t take the time to distill these lists and often don’t even have a chance to “mess around” with let alone “geek out” with the laundry lists of burgeoning technology available to educators.
Working in a private school in a wealthy country has left me spoiled. Even as I start to compile this list – I recall quickly my not so distant past use of an overhead projector and transparencies. Ahh those days..
The What I use already —
Google Apps for Education – email, docs, calendar, forms, etc.
Web-based Google Products:
Blogger, Picasa, Picmonkey, Build Evernote, Picktochart, EasyBib, Padlet, Tweetdeck, Pix:PixelMixer, Khan Academy, Webcam Toy, Youtube, Feedly.
Other Apps (on computer/ipad): Apple Ibook Author, Iphoto, twitter, Coaches Eye, Sketchbook Pro, Paper 53, Pages, KeyNote, Adobe Photoshop.
Hardware use: ipads 1:3 student ratio, student’s use macbook computers 1:1 basis, 1 teacher iPad
What I want to use (but haven’t gotten to yet) – Adobe Ideas, Aurasma, Drawing on the iPad, creating video on the iPad / ipod (Dave Caleb’s – blog in a nutshell) Comic Life,
What I have no idea of yet? – this is where you come in COETAIL community. Send some comments with other effective tools (I did search through 21 Things 4 the 21st Century Educator and found it really thorough – lots of good stuff there).
I understand it is imperative to embed technology. It needs to become not only a priority but a culture within the school. There really needs to be an ethos of all teachers and students using creative technology for creative means. Following the blog of Andrew Marcinek on my RSS feed – I came across a recent post summarized nicely into this “I can no longer exert energy on this debate. And my point comes down to a single phrase…”
We need to prepare students for their future, not ours.
I also understand that a major player in education are parents – educating parents and attempting to convey the importance of soft skills to parents can sometimes be difficult. “Your son or daughter will be using mindcraft to explore Spanish language usage” – can easily be misunderstood by parents who like myself grew up withouth the internet. Having support from administration and tech coaches are essential here.
I also know that I can’t do everything I sign up for. Is anyone else like me – willing to sign up for any new site I come across in edtech? Only finding they really scratch the surface of about 3%.
I think the most interesting aspect of this ‘how to’ question and what seemed to permeate the “Geeking Out” section, is the need to leverage the specific technologies that our students are using socially in an educational way. This leveraging will allow for the authentic characteristic of having real world meaning for student’s learning. There has to be an audience, and it has to be important that the people who are listening are important to the students.