Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Are we there yet?

Today was the big travel day. I had to travel from Michigan to Maryland, for the MAHETC 2007 conference. My flights went pretty well, with the exception of a 30-minute wait on the tarmac in D-town, but other than that, they were fine. I got my bags without a hitch, even found my way to the rental car terminal (which, incidentally, is NOT at the airport terminal in Baltimore). Then, it was up to the people at AAA, who had printed me a trip-tick (sp?) earlier in the week.

And that would be when the problems started.

First, AAA thought that I was leaving from the airport. Then, the names of the streets were different than what they really were. Finally, it told me to turn left onto Troopers Way from MD 13 South. Um, Troopers Way doesn't intersect MD 13 - you have to take two side roads to hit TW. Nice. That one took me all the way down 13 to the University to figure out.

Why am I writing this, you ask? Well, dear reader, you should have figured out that I am always a tad on the rant-ish side, but I assure you that I do have a point. I carry with me a cell phone and a PDA at almost all times. Both are wi-fi compatible. Both have GPS/Map-type programs on them. Did I use them? Um, no.

I will be the first to admit that I am a healthy mix of Digital Native and Digital Immigrant, to quote from Marc Prensky. I tend to be mostly immigrant when it comes to my own schoolwork. I tend to play with technology and work with paper. I believe - and have yet to be proven wrong - that this was ingrained in me from the beginning of my educational experience. I was always provided with technology at home - my parents placed it high in their priority list - but was not always provided with it at school. In fact, I can vividly remember teachers telling me not to use any online sources because books were the most reliable! When we tell students that they can't use iPods or cell phones or PDA's or whatever in school, aren't we sending the same message that some of my teachers gave me?

Which brings me back to my driving adventures...if I had been encouraged in school to use technology in as many areas as I could, would I have thought to check the two different map programs that I carry with me? I guess we'll never know...

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MAHETC2007, Education of the Future, Random

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