Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Learning Curve-technology and me

This week I learned to twitter. I felt like I was taking a plunge into a new world once again. But I must admit I found some interesting links along the way and had a certain thrill when I started acquiring followers. I have a certain fascination and yet a wariness about technology. I have noted before how I really felt pressure (self-induced) to use technology so much more when I went back to teaching after being a consultant for four years.

Our local high school has an emphasis on technology and when one of my students in her first year in the mini-school told me she was the only Grade Eight student who was familiar with moodle, which they use all the time in the mini-school, I had a certain pride. I feel fortunate that we have a nice computer lab with easy access. I am sure my class makes the most use of it in the school. A wireless drop in my room would be nice as perhaps, a smartboard, if I had any space to put one. One constant frustration is many of our students have better technology at home than we have at school.

Friday I was amazed to learn that one student had written a very good story using his ipod touch to type it. I can't imagine. I still don't have an ipad, or an iphone or ipad touch, but I do consider the possibility. A new computer and a new digital camera in the last two months is perhaps enough for me to handle.

My students are trying out using e-readers from the library. So now in my classroom chances are 24 are reading books and three are reading books on a Kobo or a Kindle. I have a Kindle application on my computer but I still love turning pages and my current lack of travel isn't making me feel the necessity of a kindle.

I guess what I kind of love about the internet is it reminds me of the excitement of when my parents bought the Encylopedia Britannica (that I still have) and I would look up something for my homework and then wander off into whole new directions. That happens to me on the internet all the time and I often take 29 students with me. Currently my students are preparing ads on museums around the world. They each found a museum or art gallery of interest and are preparing an ad in some form. I look forward to seeing what they come up with.

I am of the belief the internet is here and we might as well learn how to use it wisely. And with technology there is no comparison with what students are able to do now as opposed to a few years ago.

But there is very much a place for reading and a love of books. I want tech savvy kids and ones who know the sheer joy of reading a good book. And no worries it's actually easy to have happen...

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