This week’s readings made me ponder the subject of how I feel about using technology and my understanding of the applications and understandings that I want my students to have.
First of all, I consider myself a digital immigrant. I’m learning but still feel behind in all thats going on. Thats okay but it makes me wonder about things. For example, the reading talked about taking time out for creation instead of simply thinking of content. I’m on board with that, and my curriculum focuses on Project Based Learning as a model. Great for kids, I know and I enjoy the creativity the students display. I embrace the sage on stage. At this point, its a must. Students love it, I love it, its been here to stay.
My question is this: at what level must I understand the technology applications that the students are using. For example, imovie. When I first arrived at my present school, halfway through its first year, the students were fairly capable of producing high quality imovie presentations. They loved it, I loved it, but alas I did not know how to use it and still don’t. I will learn it eventually, but with a busy schedule getting started has been something I have continually put off. Not sure when I will start. This leads to a interesting scenario.
As a social studies teacher, I have a great grasp of history. What I don’t know I am not ashamed to admit and am comfortable with this understanding. Content knowledge for a teacher is mandatory for obvious reasons, but what about technology knowledge? I use Socrative, google docs, Open class, Powerschool, back channel frequently, classnote.s, Evernote on occasion and all sorts of interactive learning games and so on. Its not the nuts and bolts of classroom technique that are an issue per se. What about the creative side of production? I mean, I can easily assign any number of assignments with numerous avenues of technology tools. Do I need to be able to use proficiently all of these tools? Does it matter that I am not capable on imovie? Of course it would be nice, but does it have to be required of me? This goes back to the subject of time, its limited, how much do I have to spend continually learning new technology. I’m not really a big fan of blogging, facebook or other “fun” uses of technology, so how do I muster up the time and commitment to spend on learning new things? The answer is community. When I am working in the presence of others in the program (Brian Tupper, Ian Craig last year), its great, alone, not so much. Thankfully, Coetail does offer this, but for old fashioned me I am comfortable and understand the physical presence of company far more than the online community. Not to be a Luddite, but there it is.
Of course I will continue to add to my bag of tricks and knowledge base and cannot imagine going back to a non 1 to 1 program school, but this question of how much technology do I need is an idea that I ponder frequently. What is good enough?