Where have I been?

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted.  The truth is, I’m not sure what I want to write about.  That, and I have 3 children to take care of and work and working on my doctorate.  I’m trying to figure out how I want to use this space- how it will best benefit me and anyone who might read it.  Until then, I will leave it at this.


On February 23, I attended a workshop presented by David Warlick on Contemporary Literacy.  I’ll admit that I already supported the topic ahead of time, so me thinking it was fabulous might be a little biased.  I’m going to highlight some ideas that stuck with me:


What has changed is the nature of information.  We don’t need to teach our kids technology skills; we need to teach them how to work the information.


The technology has had a profound impact on our culture.  We will communicate in profoundly new ways.


We learn in the 21st century by sharing.


Education society was perfect to prepare students for work in straight rows, performing repetitive tasks, under close supervision in an industrialized society.  Now the mills are gone. The current workplace is the home office with informational tools.


Cell phones connect families in a way never before.  We’ve decided as a culture that we want to carry our information devices with us in our pockets. 


Only 1/100th of 1% of all new information in 2003 was printed.  We are spending too much time in the classroom teaching students how to use paper.


Don’t let distance and walls get in the way of the learning we want to achieve.


We are not preparing children for our future; we are preparing them for their future.  We know almost nothing about the future we’re preparing our children for.  What do our children need to be learning today to prepare them for an unpredictable future?


We are still working on assumptions that information presented is always true.  Examples include not only web information, but curriculum texts. We need to teach students that they can’t assume authority.  Need to teach students to question everything.  Teachers should bring as much information out of the Internet as possible to teach students how to judge information. We need to teach kids to teach themselves. 


Students have no recollection of the 20th century.  We should be teaching 21st century skills, but we are in 19th century classrooms.


50% of students say they do school work in social networks online.


Kids no longer have to say goodbye to their friends when they leave high school.  They can now stay in constant contact via social networks.


We want our children to be students we want to teach instead of learners they are. We need to ask students questions as if they had Google in their pockets.


The huge problem in our schools is the disparity of kids who are in a community of learners online versus kids who have no access. If we’ve decided as a nation that all children need to read, we need to provide technology access too.  The new illiteracy will be technological. 


Teachers used to make students experts.  Now students are making themselves experts. 


It’s not about the technology; it’s about the information. For teachers, information is a product to consume.  For students, it’s something to remix.


We don’t need to provide project-based learning, but job-based learning. Technology doesn’t get students excited- it’s not new to them. 


If students become intellectual property owners, they will respect others’ intellectual property.  One way to do this is to house students’ projects in the library as a resource for others.


Teachers who don’t use technology are emphasizing technology and the Internet as a playground.  They are not teaching students how to evaluate information and use technology as a tool.


Some suggested websites:


www.davidwarlick.com            presenter’s site


www.uuorld.com          explain the world with maps


www.prezi.com            zooming editor for stunning presentations


http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/resources/fair_use/            fair use & copyright


www.ning.com create own social network


www.phunland.com      2D physics sandbox


www.gamesforchange.org         real world games; real world impact


www.missiontolearn.com          26 learning games to change to world


www.scratch.mit.edu                create stories, games, and animations


www.tagcrowd.com                 visualize word frequency through tag clouds


www.wordle.net                       generate word pictures 


www.tikatok.com                     create books to share