Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Keeping Up with the Bloggers

Every time I catch up on my blog reading my head starts to spin and I feel that I am being left behind. David Warlick has been using an avatar to represent him in an online course. Do you have an avatar? I don't! He is meeting with community college teachers on using iPods in higher education - cool! Wesley Fryer has been skypecasting. I need to try that out! And of course he is podcasting and I haven't even gotten around to doing that. Vicki Davis is a new favorite and I can't keep up with her either. This technology thing can be overwhelming. There is always something new and it seems that everyone knows about it before me. Yeah, I have heard of YouTube. But only when they were bought out and it made national news and I had never been there. Much less had I thought of using their videos to teach math. But there it was in one of Vicki's posts. You gotta see this! Effective Math Videos. It seems that I am the only technology educator who sleeps, how else can people be out there discovering all this stuff.

But then again it is all about choice. I have been spending time on a classroom organizing tool for a kindergarten teacher. It has pictures of the lunch choices for the day and kids put their popsicle stick in the pocket with the picture (and words) representing what they want for lunch that day. So the teacher doesn't have to stand there each morning and help them read the lunch choices. Simple and old tech - just took a digital camera and some office supplies to make it. But it can save a teacher time.

I guess that is what makes me different than the techno-junkies. Yes I am an engineer by training. Yes, I can fix computers and I have given talks to other engineers on SCSI and microchannel. I have written Fortran code. But I am not here for the whiz bang factor. You have to sell me on the effectiveness of a technology for education before I am going to take the time to play around with it. I am not going to try to get another teacher to try something before I have tried it. I can't wait to see what the people on the bleeding edge find for me to try next!

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David Warlick said...

You got it! It's about the learning. It's about the information. Technology is only about the conduit. We can use that conduit to reshape and refunnel information in many ways to enhance the learning -- but you are right, that if it ain't effective, then it's just wires and routers.

Great luck with the popcicles. You know they have an upgrade, don't you ;-)

BTW, what's fortran ;-)

-- dave --

Laura said...


Ha! I bet you wrote in Fortran too. Ah the good ole days!