Through my, Technology and the Future of Writing, class I have discovered a plethora of resources available for writing. Writing has transitioned from hieroglyphics to pen and paper to writing on computers and within programs. Everyone now has access to publish and share information and they aren’t limited to what they can write. In my Prezi, I share various programs used in my efforts for this class as well as my take on what the future has in store for writing and writers. As the world changes so should our practices and writing is no exception to this.
Recently, Amy McKeever, tweeted an article “How Opening Up Classroom Doors Can Push Education Forward” by Katrina Schwartz. She says that opening our classrooms to the public allows for the best possible education for our students. It’s impossible to be perfect and opening our classrooms brings in other perspectives and opinions on the best course of action. Parents, students, other teachers, and administration can all be of help in tweaking practices to meet the ever changing needs of students. Schwartz says “by welcoming a variety of voices into a discussion about what drives powerful learning experiences, and why certain teaching practices work and others don’t, the process becomes participatory. Everyone shares the responsibility for changing a system that matters to the future of the country.”
Check out this video on opening our classroom’s doors
Allowing the public to be part of our classrooms brings a sense of community from the classroom outwards. Instead of being a learning community solely within the doors of our classrooms we can extend the community to parents, other teachers, and even the administration. To produce the most effective classroom, using tips and advice from outside the classroom is a must.
As I have been saying in my previous blogs, learning is not the same. I cannot stress this enough. Many people think being a teacher is easy because we have all had the opportunity to observe teachers everyday for over 12 years. This is not the case. We can, however, use these experience to grow and adapt with our learners.
Collaborative learning has become all the craze within the last decade. Teachers are realizing the importance of group work and encourage collaborative activities. How can we use technology and collaborative learning? The Multi-Touch table is a perfect way to use collaborative learning in the 21st century.
How can we use a Multi-Touch table in our classrooms?
In his article, Collaborative Learning on Touchtables: Engaging Students with Group Work, Daniel Tomasini shares the collaborative advantages a touchtable or multi-touch table has to offer. I found this article in a tweet shared by Amanda Yacovelli. A multi-touch table is not merely a larger tablet. A tablet is for individual use while a multi-touch table is designed to be used by a whole group. This allows for students to work together on a project or activity all being able to contribute while using the advantages technology has to offer and students maintain engaged in their learning.
The world is changing right before our eyes. Things that once were are no longer in existence. Gary Layton tweeted an article that Bianca Bosker wrote for the Huffington Post. In her article she talks about this. In the last decade things like the VCR, phone booths, and many more have become obsolete. If the world is constantly changing it only makes sense that the people are changing. More importantly this means that our students are changing. It is our responsibility to facilitate the learning in any way that reaches our students.
Check out this inspirational video about changing for our learners
IPads, and other tablets have become a huge trend in our country. Children can often work them before even reading. Tablets offer a variety of applications that can be used in many ways to facilitate learning with our students. Educational Technology & Mobile Learning’s article A Round-Up of 12 Educational Ipad Apps for Teachers provides a list applications and what they are do that are educational and useful for teachers use in the classroom.
10. Puppet Workshop
Technology should be used as an advantage. Instead of banning these things from school we need to embrace them. Use them to our advantage. A game that educates and entertains is more effective. As a future teacher I plan to always adapt my lessons to my learners and to use a variety of teaching methods including technologies and other ares of strengths of my students and I hope that all teachers do so as well. Our growing students will continue to grow far beyond we could have ever imagined. And after all, children are the future.
Like, Education Technology and Mobile Learning’s,step by step Guide to Creating a Virtual Field Trip Using Google Earth, this video shows how to bring the world to our students when we can’t bring our students to the world. Whether the situation be too dangerous, money is too scarce, or a just a mere lack of time, Google maps allows classrooms to travel across the world in a matter of seconds. With the click of the mouse an entire classroom can be in exploring the pyramids of Egypt. No longer are students bounded by their location in what they can experience. Classrooms even have the ability to interact with one another. This could totally redefine our entire concept of the world field trip. The endless possibilities on Google maps allows teachers to facilitate field trips all over the world. The trips can last a class period or over the course of a few days and can span and entire subject..
These virtual field trips allow students to experience their learning rather than learning about it from text books. This virtual experience provides them with something a text book never could. That is interaction. Interaction plays a key role in learning. Students can learn about a location, explore its surroundings and even interact with experts in the fields of study.
Literature and media on the topic of technology in education talks about tablets and personal computers and their endless possibilities, but not all schools have the funds for this kind of technology. Actually most schools don’t have that kind of money. It’s hard enough to get updated textbooks let alone a brand new iPad for all the students. How are teachers from those many districts without the money, supposed to incorporate technology in their classrooms? They could go out and buy some themselves, but that doesn’t seem quite possible on the restricted salary. Well good news is, it doesn’t mean they have to give up and stick to traditional ways of teaching.No. There are many ways to enhance teaching using technology without the need of all of those fancy devices. Jennie Mageria lists many ways to do so in her article 7 Ideas for Going Digital without Devices.
A classroom can be fun an innovative without costing a fortune.Using programs like Youtube, Twitter, KidBlog and many others, teachers can enhance their students learning without a need for a large budget. Students can use these programs at home, in the classroom, on shared computers in the school, and even at the local library. Students are able to engage the class in a variety of locations. Even if the students did not each have access to a computer, many classrooms are equipped with at least one computer and a projector of some sort to share the screen. This way the class can work together on a project or watch a video related to what they are learning about.
These programs engage the students leaving them with more meaningful experiences. When an experience is meaningful students are more likely to take away from their learning and apply it to real life.
When observing some of today’s classrooms I have been appalled to find that some of the classrooms haven yet to change from when I was a kid, or even from what I’ve seen in old movies. Let me paint a picture for you. A young woman stands in front of a large classroom writing on a chalkboard with kids at desks writing on paper with a 10 pound book by their side. Sounds pretty basic, doesn’t it? Why?
Student’s are not the same type of learners today they were 5 years ago let alone 10 to 15. They need and expect to use today’s technology in their quest for knowledge. Many teachers have adopted these new technologies to enhance their teaching.
The use of technology in classrooms has converted teacher’s traditional role as the center of the classroom to a passive role, facilitating learning experiences in a student centered classroom. In this technology based classroom students are able to access the information, apply it, and then demonstrate their new skills. The world is changing and its the jobs of the educators to provide a worthy experience. Read A New Pedagogy is Emerging by Nancy Atterberry for more on our information driven society.
It is virtually impossible to go anywhere without some form of advanced technology being used. From the touch screens in Wawa and CVS photo to the self check out lines in Acme supermarkets, our world is encompassed with technology. Because of this its the job of our educators to provide our students with experiences in technology and with the opportunities to practice it.
Are we changing our technology to art or our art to technology? In Writing space: Computers, hypertext, and the remediation of print, J.D. Bolter introduces the concept of emerging technology in writing. Bolter explores both the path of the technological tools used in the writing and more importantly, the technology beyond the modern conventions of writing.Bolter quoted McLuhan “the invention of typography…provided the first uniformly repeatable commodity,” which placed greater appreciation of the physical product of the book. In streamlining technology we then create a clearer message to our reader. In the technology of writing the transfer from an oral technology to create a written or linguistic culture. The conventions of writing have developed dependant upon the writers experiences of the written word. This rings true when you consider for example the connection, between writers and the texts they read. Ask 2 writers in the same genre to list their favorite writers and they will have taken inspiration from the same writers, some of that is location, some of that is the timing. I know I feel like Rowan’s Writing arts department is Walt Whitman obsessed- which is both because of the degree of saturation of his work in the literary world but more importantly, the location, it is part of our cultural identity to connect with Whitman. What concerns me most about the technology of writing is not that there will be a change in the technologies employed in writing but rather the technical change in the artistry of writing. I have seen with different teachers the exposure to their particular aesthetic has shaped and molded my aesthetic. What concerns me is that as the technologies change my writing may change and lose artistry. In oral traditions for example, the sound of words play a more important part in the presentation of material as opposed to in scientific writing there is a convention of precision being more important.If our writing is changing to employ new technology are we also changing our individuality? If for example we are employing the new technology of writing in shortened form- “Lol” how long before we actually think ‘Lol” and stop actually laughing? If we change the words we use to use modern social/technology conventions are we changing the emotion behind them. Bolter says “ We can identify an interaction between technical qualities and social constructions– an interaction so intimate that is hard to see where technology ends and social begins.” We must choose carefully the technologies and the conventions we chose, as an artist, we must learn them all and then decide how to shape them into art.