Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Technology is not the sugar on our cereal…



In today’s faculty meeting, we watched a short video from YouTube called 3 Steps. If you haven’t seen it I think it is worth taking a look.( The tags mention NECC 2007 and David Warlick so evidently this has been around for a while but I had not seen it) I used it as a lead in to today’s meeting. It address three steps we need to take to prepare the students in the 21st century:

1. Making our classrooms creative spaces Photo by gongus
2. Teaching students to be competitive ( with themselves), to cooperate and collaborate
3. Connecting them with their global peers.

( It is on Teacher tube also in case you can not access You tube)

It was a good review of what we are trying to do and why plus it brought home the idea of changing how our classrooms look and function. The next stop was to consider the role technology plays in education. I told the teachers, “It is not the sugar on our cereal” . Technology is the means to access information learn and connect with others. As professional educators if our job is about information and teaching students how to access and use information then our job is about technology. I believe there is no way around this basic truth. It is not about cool projects it is about teaching and learning because teaching and learning are about information.

So with all of this out in the open today we embarked on something new. Armed only with our standards and a laptop I shared a iGoogle tab with the teachers on which I had preloaded some basic resources and I challenged them to go textbook free. They picked one subject, Science or social Studies and worked together to plan all of Marches lesson only with the resources they had at hand.

The standards helped us to look at the big picture and with the help of their peers everybody was successful. They explored video resource, Google gadgets, you tube, teacher tube etc. The next step is for the teachers in 6th 7th and 8th grade to build an iGoogle tab for their subject area for the students to use !

Today I think we made a big step forward….and kudos to the whole staff who didn’t even flinch! Today technology became a viable source of teaching and learning in a new way for all grade levels , Pre-k to 8!

6 comments:

Clarence said...

You have an excellent group if they didn't flinch.... but I already knew that. Here's a thought: did you know iGoogle tabs can be shared just like pageflakes can be? Collaborative groups of teachers (or kids for that matter) can build a tab together and share what they have found among each other. Think of kids doing this for a project of some kind building a resource together that is "live" and updated on a regular basis.... leads to a few possibilities

Barbara said...

Yes! Yes! That is exactly where we are headed...but I do not know why I did not think of having the students build the page..I was asking the teachers to do it. Maybe the teachers can get it started and give them the bare bones. First task is to get 6th and 7th set up with igoogle.

Thanks Clarence!

Tech Web Daily said...

hii..ı want to exchange link wıth your web sıte...is ıt possıble?? May we do that?? I m adding your link to my sıte..may you ınform me about if you are also goıng to add or not?? info@bilimseverler.com

courtney said...

I would just like to say that this article caught my eye for a few reasons. First, it referred me to the youtube video so I felt like I knew where you were coming from. Second, it spelled out the three steps for preparing students for the 21st century. Third, it was motivating and I agreed with so much of what was said.
By making the classroom a creative learning space, it helps the children to be more creative. There are so many rooms that are bland and have no excitement when you walk in the door. Then the teachers expect the children to be unique, imaginative, and inventive. I think that by inspiring the students with some color and excitement, it makes the learning process easier and more fun. Also, students do need to cooperate with each other. I have seen that it tends to depend upon the teacher whether the students cooperate or not. In a class that does not push for student participation and group work, it doesn't seem like the students would get along, know each other, work well with others, or be comfortable with themselves. Teachers do need to motivate the students to become everything they can be to compete with others. Students will be pushed one day to their limits to find a job and compete with people all over the world, and they should practice that throughout school. Student council helped me with this is middle and high school.
Using the video to base your meeting around was a very good idea. I really liked that video. In the 21st century it is very important to incorporate technology into the classroom. Teaching the students to use the internet and a computer in general is putting everything they need to know in arm's reach. I am very surprised that some teachers didn't flinch without the textbook in hand. It seems like most would be lost without their main tool!

MrBenson said...

We have begun using the ideas on this page on our classroom blog, have a look! http://mellonsbay.blogspot.com/

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