Some of us either can’t afford to upgrade or figure we’ll replace it when it breaks. Some of us just keep using the tools we’ve always used because they work so we can’t see a reason to change. Some of us just don’t have time for the learning curve it would take to implement something new.
When new technology comes out where do you tend to fall? Some of us can’t wait to buy the newest gadget and start using it. Some of us wait before we invest in new technology to see if it’ll last. Anyone remember 8 tracks tapes or Betamax video players? Anyone invest in HD DVD’s? It looks like Blue Rays has won out as the new format.
Sure overhead projectors are classic piece of classroom equipment. They still do the job. Why do you think powerpoint and projector can take their place?
Here’s an updated version of the overhead. You don’t have to make a transparency to use this guy. You can project directly from a piece of paper or piece of art…or a 3-D object like a calculator or anything else you want everyone to see. Some connect to microscopes. It’s not that we want to buy a bunch of these because they are new technology and we want to look cutting edge. They have the potential to enhance learning in ways the old overheads cannot do.
But it doesn’t matter whether the crowded page full of tiny letters is projected by an old overhead or a brand new state of the art projector, teaching is much more about content and engagement.
We still have to use them effectively. Powerpoints can be just as snooze-inducing as a completely covered overhead transparency or blackboard. Better tools allow us greater scope. New technology helps us make our subjects more interesting, relevant, engaging and accessible to our students.
Sociologists divide our population into social generations but differ on just when each generation begins & ends. How we use media . and how we provide and access information is a factor. Boomers have always had television but typed their term papers on typewriters. Most were under 30 when Saturday Night Live debuted. Generation X have always had video games and desktop computers but remember a time before the internet. They were teenagers when MTV started. Millennials don’t remember being without computers or cell phones. They have never lived in a time when information was not available 24/4.
If you’re not a millennial these are probably your comfort zone technologies.
How we talk to one another, solve problems, and seek and perceive respect differ. Based on this research, face-to-face conversations aren’t as important to Millennials or Gen. Xers. It’s interesting to note that Xers and Boomers come up with solutions independently then talk to other people. Millennials like to tackle it together.
According to Pew Research 75% of Millennials have a profile on social media like Facebook or MySpace. 83% sleep with their cell phones, and 88% use their cell phones to text. They’re social, digitally literate, mobile, experiential multi-taskers. With technology, With each other, Online, In their time, In their place, Doing things that matter. If we want to impact our students beyond test day, prepare them for higher education and work, if we want them to become lifelong learners we have to embrace the tools they use to communicate.
How WE expect students to approach learning often runs counter to the way our students really are. The typical Millennial approaches learning with this sort of focus but we require this to be successful. Balance technology & lecture. Be active & engaged in teaching. Use PowerPoint & other technology effectively.
The way many 21 st century learners process knowledge is more like a word cloud. They like to switch gears a lot. Helping them develop focus and discipline can be a challenge but these students have strengths that hold the potential for them to become creative, active learners.
Active learners are intellectually and emotionally engaged. Technology offers tools that students already use to engage them in content creation, communication and collaboration about learning. Engage your students in different learning experiences. This is NOT about technology – it IS about interactivity!
If you climbed off the technology train ten years ago, now is the time to climb back aboard. If you’re already on the train, we need your help as well. In a few minutes we’ll do a survey of technology skills and interests. It’s not a test. You aren’t expected to emerge from this year a technology whiz. You are expected to learn a couple of new skills and implement them into your lessons. The survey is a way to connect you with the learning you need to make that happen.
Let’s look at some options. This is an interactive whiteboard that can be used with your computer to engage learners. Students can write on the board, manipulate the information and whatever you do on the board can be downloaded onto Edline so you can reference it later. You can offer your students a variety of learning experiences and choices about how to interact with the learning. We have one of these. We hope to get more. Soon we will offer training and ideas for using the Smartboard with your students.
We looked at the camera projector earlier. We have one right now and I hope we can get more. We’ll offer training on this as well.
Online databases, Internet searches, and Web2.0 tools are great resources for delivering learning. Web 2.0 tools are interactive tools, many of them free with registration, that you can use to develop higher level thinking skills and test for learning by helping students create subject-related content on the web. There are so many great tools out.
Private Wikis are online spaces where only members of a group can share content and participate in group editing. Here’s an example of a high school class wiki….(show wiki then click link to blog) and here’s the teacher’s blog.
Blogs allow us to publish online in a public space. Often blogs include space for feedback after each article where readers can add comments and share resources and ideas. Here’s an ed tech blog I like. There are links and ideas as well.
This is an example of a Web 2.0 Collaborative Wiki. Teachers post lesson plans, helpful web sites, projects, and other online resources relevant to technology in the classroom. This site has links to tools, but also lessons and projects other teachers have already developed. Let’s go to this site and take a look at some of the things your may want to learn.
Collaboration is a skill that makes us stronger as educators. Using collaborative tools like Outlook calendar is a way to help us balance the demands we place upon our students.
Edline is the tool our school uses for teachers use to communicate with parents and students. We require that you post syllabi, weekly lesson plans, assignments and grades. We can post handouts and links for our students to access and send email to parents and students.
Technology is more user friendly than ever before and there are lots of things out there that can really enhance your student’s learning experiences. Sure, not everything you try will be perfect the first time but just trying something new is likely to engage your students and help them think about the learning. Excellence comes with practice and you can’t practice what you don’t try. This year we want you to try something new in your classrooms. We want you to become more comfortable with integrating technology to communicate the content you already teach to your students. We want to form collaborative learning groups in order to connect people who want to learn the same things and to create mentoring opportunities with members of the faculty who are already skilled using a particular technology. (Pass out surveys) Take a few minutes and identify what you already know how to do, choose two or three things you want to try, identify skills that you possess that you’d be willing to teach others. By the end of August we’ll form our learning communities and start trying new things.
TECHNOLOGY ENGAGES 21 ST CENTURY LEARNERS
THE FASHION TRAIN Your parents can always embarrass you. Especially the way they dress. See, 'cause I have a theory. I think your parents are riding along on the fashion train, and one day they go "that's it, I ain't going any farther." - Jeff Foxworthy
80's 90's 70's 00's We can climb off the technology train too We don’t see the point of replacing something that still works We can’t afford to upgrade We just don’t want to deal with the learning curve
TECHNOLOGY TRAIN DEMOGRAPHICS When new technology comes out where do you tend to fall?
Classic.. But kinda retro Overheads still do the job
NEWER, BETTER No transparencies needed Projects Papers Artwork 3-D objects Connects to microscopes Saves images to computer
The medium cannot overcome the method or the message
PowerPoints can be just as snooze-inducing as a completely covered overhead transparency
Boomers have always had television Gen Xers have always had video games Millennials have always had computers & cell phones
COMMUNICATION VALUES Entrepreneur Magazine , 2009. Millennials Gen Xers Boomers Converse Text & IM Social Media Cell phone E-mail Cell Phone IM E-mail Cell Phone Face to face Problem Solve Brainstorm in group Online Research List solutions independently then call a meeting Think about what worked in the past then call a meeting Seek Respect Ideas values Professionalism and knowledge valued Experience and input valued
THEY’RE WIRED 75% of Millennials have a profile on social media like Facebook or MySpace 83% sleep with their cell phones 88% use their cell phones to text