Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Voice of a Young Teacher Coming to Understand Social Technology

Here are comments from another of the students in my weekly ed school course on paperless classrooms and social tech integration. You can follow his Tweets and help him to build his PLN at: @teacherben.

I'm particularly struck by his idea that whether or not you might be able to incorporate these tools into whatever current classroom situation you might be in, one of the important things to recognize is that eventually your situation is going to catch up... so you might as well get your brain around the new network now, lest tomorrow you wind up on the business end of your own kicking foot:
I always have the same three thoughts every class session: (1) Some of these social media sites are really cool and some creep me out (the "creep me out" thought is occurring less and less as I get more and more comfortable putting my digital self out there); (2) I wish I could use this in my classroom, but I don't have the resources/ certain useful sites are blocked; and (3) I'm glad I'm becoming more aware of this digital world. My sister is an archivist who some time ago, got into social media professionally (as a person who deals with information technology). Because I'm now more linked in to digital social media, we were able to have a conversation (about storing information on "the cloud") that we would never have been able to have before. Beyond the personal gratification of being more aware of the web 2.0, it has turned out to be a really useful way to build my PLN. The other day, I Tweeted (crap, did I use the right term?) a question about how to upload files on to the cloud, and got a response in minutes- so helpful.

The class has also been helpful from a more theoretical perspective. If digital social media is the wave of the future in education, I'm glad I'm becoming aware of it now so I don't drown in it later. Even if I don't stay in education, it's nice to know what education might be like for my kids (assuming that happens some day). Beyond that, I was really hit by the two videos we watched in class in which two guys spoke at conferences about the social and political affects of social media. I guess Twitter and blogging and all that isn't just "kids stuff," although that's how I used to view it. Now if only my students could use it...

We are in a transition period.

And this transition period is not the pinnacle of the social technology era. It's rather the very moment when the map of that era is being laid out for the first time for the generals in the field to examine.

The decisions we make now and the strategies we develop are going to have long-term consequences.

And so, in the context of teacher education, I urge all of my ed school colleagues and ed school students to campaign for the clear inclusion of 'social tech in ed' coursework to become a standard of teacher preparation and -- and this is the big one -- for the use of and modeling of social technology in the classroom to become standard practice in all ed school classrooms regardless of discipline.

1 comment:

  1. We have to move away from the notion that there is a concept called school that you can be taught how to function in. Students are great at the game of school. Teachers are great at refereeing the game. The game doesnt work anymore. School is the problem with, not the solution to, human learning. A am a learner not an "educator" sharing with other learners, learning and teaching each other. You might think that is pie in the sky, but I do not care. I will have blueberry in the cloud!


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