Thursday, May 17, 2007

idk, my bff jill?

I wasn't going to post today. I wanted to wait until someone commented on my last post. I know that there are people out there reading it (creepy, huh? I can see you...j/k), and I really do want to give you content that is actually something you might want to read/know about.

Besides, I'm human. I like the occasional pat-on-the-back, too.

But anyway, please do comment on the last post, and I am still taking requests for PD for the next school year, so please email.

The reason I decided to blog was a post I read by Will Richardson. He was giving a presentation, when a teacher said that this technology stuff "is the devil" (yes, for real), and there was major agreement amongst conference-goers.

I began writing him a comment, and then decided that I ought to share it with you first. So, read his entry here, and then come back and read this:

I'm a young enough educator to remember the "calculator wars" - you know, the ones we're still having 20 years later? Anyway, I remember teachers saying that students shouldn't be given calculators, because how will we ever know how to do long division when there is no calculator present?

You know what? They gave us calculators in the 4th grade. I don't know how to do long division. Some people might see this as a problem. My question is - when will I EVER be without a calculator? I have one on my cell phone which is always on my person. In order to use a calculator, you do have to understand the concepts of math. While I couldn't tell you how to do long division without a calculator, I can still get you the answer.

I guess that's my feelings on this whole technology thing. We are teaching students as if they will never have the internet at their disposal 24/7, which is just impractical and, well, stupid. Most of what I learned of technology, I taught myself. Most of my students are that way, too. How cool would it be if they were able to learn about technologies (or at least, how to apply them to education) from teachers? I had no idea that the Civil War MUD (yes, I'm a geek - shut up) that I played in high school taught me about organization, management, military strategies, e-mail communication and delegation as well as history. I figured it out one day when someone my own age asked me how I figured out all of this technology stuff. Would you like to know how I got interested in such a game? My teacher - the most un-tech-savvy-person-known-to-mankind - sparked an interest in the Civil War. I found the game through surfing the internet (before Google was popular - so ACTUAL surfing) and told him about it. He didn't understand a single word about the technology, but he encouraged me and asked every day how my troops were doing (again, shut up).

My point - though I take a while to make it - is that just because you don't understand the technology, don't discourage kids from using it in ways they are passionate about. Your kid can't spell? Who cares? (Neither can I, for that matter) As long as they know how to use spell check - that is to say, can interpret the results of spell check - they will be fine. Maybe in the future, we will all talk and write like that commercial: "idk, my bff Jill? tisnf!" We don't really know what the future is going to bring, but we can be sure that technology is here to stay.

Someone else who commented on the post quoted Ghandi: "First, they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." What a wonderful (and true) statement that is. Sounds like we are at the "fighting" stage - so fight on, fellow techno-geeks.

Technorati Tags:
Beyond Podcasting, Education of the Future, Random

1 comment:

mego said...

Great post!
I have to comment before going to the second life post! You are so right about the tools our students need to be successful, they have phones, the Internet, they can find the answers if we stop blocking them and assigning low level assignments. How about our students that struggle? Could we change the assignments to actually engage them? How about all students, death by the overhead is killing all of them!