Thursday, June 9, 2011

It's a Mobile World

As a child I remember riding on trains like this. I can remember getting a face full of smuts (smoke and soot) if you put your head too far out of the window; the clickety-clack that we no longer have because of continuous rail and the ticket collectors who always said "cue" after they had inspected your ticket.

I mention this because it seems so far removed from what I have been learning in the technology workshop at St. Mike's this week. We've been told we have "sand-box" time tomorrow when we can use the "clouds" we have signed up for or 'tweet' until our hearts are content. The world of technology seems to thrive on metaphor; there are very few tech-derived words that I can think of after I get past 'byte'. Even the most famous tech-word of them all, windows, is surely a metaphor taken from the world of house construction.

However, even though I am not a "digital native" I think I can hold my own. My students next semester clearly will be digital natives so I must meet them at a point that is comfortable for all of us. I always ask my upper class-men to become connoisseurs of the digital world as it applies to education. In other words I want them to develop the skills so that they can make informed judgements as to what are the most effective forms and uses of technology at their disposal. They need to be able to sift through the junk to find the nuggets (ah, more metaphor!) which will be effective in helping children learn.

I find that I am doing what I say this week in that I am trying to determine which of all the different forms of technology we have been introduced to will enhance my teaching in my particular field of teacher education. There are a few that I don't think will but there are many that I can see have great potential. Setting up Facebook Groups for my classes and using the iPAD2 are two things that I plan to incorporate.

"Cue" by the way was a short version of "thank you", a piece of railway language that has been around for probably more than 150 years.

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