I just got back from my pro d day in Coquitlam and I have learned a few things! I have now started a Twitter account…but I have no idea what to twitter! I have also gotten rid of my internet explorer and now plan on only using Firefox. The last thing I have done is I have installed Dropbox! I will need to contact tech support to install it on my work lap top, but I think this tool is pretty amazing and it will save me so much time!
I was able to listen to Ross Laird in his session on the evolution of technology culture. I think the real title was Children’s Development with Technology, but he re-worded it. I agreed with a lot that he had to say. What resonated with me was the idea that the technology is not there to make us feel overwhelmed and give us more work, but it is there to make life easier. We need to use the tools to make what we do easier. I also liked how he said that as educators we need to be facilitators. This is something I have been figuring out about how I teach. I am recognizing that I facilitate more that teacher talk. I will need to re-visit this later.
A few things Ross Laird mentioned that stuck with me and I want to go back and re-think;
We need to help the students find the depth in the technology based society. We need to teach interpersonal skills, we need to facilitate group discussions, and of course wonderings. How do we do this? Laird broke it down for us. 1. Let them show you the games they play, allow the students to explain and teach us. 2. Participate with them in online activities no not Facebook! 3. Assist them in developing awareness of the risks and benefits of online cultures. In a sense we are connecting those natives with us immigrants!
Things to do; engage them in technology they are already accessing BUT we need to teach them to self regulate when they are glued to the screen. To teach them how to recognize when they need a break and to walk away. This made me think about incorporating a one day without technology theme or an hour without technology a day! I don’t know if I would last that one!
Another thing that stuck in my brain is Laird’s idea that the students’ brains are not changing but their learning styles are. This had me thinking about my field study and having the students recognize how they learn best. We all need to re-think how we teach to this new generation of learners. Of course this is ever changing, but the rate is so much faster now!
Laird broke down the Roles of contemporary educators;
-we need to help learners build contexts for their knowledge
-we need to assist learners is leveraging information into wisdom
-we need to point out the sign posts to facilitate navigating the sea of information
– we need to promote synthesis and integration
-we need to watch and help learners build their own skills
-we need to promote communication and people skills HELLO!!
As educators we also need to create a presence online; websites, twitters, online collaboration of lessons etc…
Ross Laird has made a slide show for all to see. One site is for parents and one is for educators.
We need to find ways to integrate technology into our practice! And I am trying my best! Next stop Drupal…wish me luck!