Friday, March 7, 2008

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Are we really quick to accept technology?

UPDATE: My point to this post...which I'm not sure I ever got to...was that Stager was indicating that teachers have a knee-jerk reaction to adopting new technology - that we adopt things without really thinking about the best practice behind it. My point was - really? IMHO, I have found that teachers do have a knee-jerk reaction about technology - of fear. As in, "A Cellphone? In a classroom? But students could cheat and text each other answers and...". I don't know any teacher who uses technology in a classroom setting who has a knee-jerk reaction of "This is cool! I don't know how I'll use it, but let's try!" Am I wrong? What do you think?

=*Live Blogged - Please excuse spelling/grammar errors.*=

I'm sitting in Gary Stager's session on being careful with what new technologies that we let into the classroom. He is bringing up some valid points - just not in a way that I would. He is coming off really negative - not sure if that is intentional or not.

One of the points that he is bringing up is that there is nothing new in education - he is saying that we are still saying the same things today that we were hundreds of years ago. The "Newly Ancient" philosophy - that we should take the old and find a way to make it new -which I totally agree with. He pulled a quote from 1917 that directly related to what we would consider to be best practices.

However, I feel that some of his generalizations are not fair. He mentioned that high school English teachers only make projects because it is too hard to grade 300 English papers. I don't know what it is like at every school in the country, but in our high school, our English teachers to projects and papers. And they spend hours grading them.

He also said that Twitter, while good for quick questions, is not effective as a personal learning network. I strongly disagree with that - as I have bounced many theoretical notions off of my network. In fact, those are some of my favorite conversations with my network.

Also, I checked out his website: and I was disappointed in his review of Friedman's The World is Flat. Friedman makes a great argument for the globalization of the world...and I'm not sure you can argue with him. While the theories have not changed in the last hundred years, the tools have - and the kids have.

I'm agreeing with Stager now, though - he is talking about adding Higher Standards - and that is very true. Just like the type of knowledge is shifting, you must add higher standards or you soon won't be expecting anything from students.

He's now comparing the difference between community and community of practice. You can be a part of a community - like a city - and not know about everything and everyone in it. Likewise, a community of practice, you don't need to know everything and everyone in it. A community of practice must grow. He's saying that the community of ed techers celebrates newbies, but there often isn't anything for those people who are either intermediate/advanced. Very true. "Entry into the community is based on a willingness to mimic the behaviors of the masters." "Common commitment to progress" You must do something together, and have shared stories and histories.

Overall, an interesting session. He started off a bit negative, but I think there was a message of hope there somewhere. Interesting thoughts, though, about technology and education and being careful as to what/how to integrate.

Technorati Tags:
Gary Stager, macul08, Twitter

MACUL part deux

So, obviously my last post was a waste of a good RSS, but it has a point. I was leading a session on Web 2.0 for beginners today...and we posted that as our "first" blog entry.

It was so much fun to do that session today! I really wish that we had even MORE time - next year, that is definately a 4-hr session!

At any rate, if you are a new reader, welcome! If you did a technorati search and got here, welcome! If you need the link to the wiki we worked on, it is here: .

Then, I ran over to Jason Ohler's session on the future of tech in ed. Very interesting stuff - wish I could have hit the whole thing and not have missed the first part!

Too much to process, and I have another presentation this afternoon....

Technorati Tags:
Jason Ohler, macul08, web 2.0

Web 2.0

I'm standing in front of a group at MACUL.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

MACUL 2008

It has been an interesting couple of weeks, to say the least. I will, at the end of this week, have been out of my classroom 5 of the last 10 days. This has made my life insane (but in a good way).

Last week, I was able to take part in a meeting to re-vamp our Middle School Comp. Lit. course (working title now is Computers, Technology & Literacy). What a neat meeting - we made so much progress, and the idea of all students coming out of the MS as literate as these new warms my heart!

Then, I was fortunate enough to present at the MS Summit, sponsored by the MI ASCD. A very fun/thought provoking day! It was an honor to be presenting at such a gathering of people.

Now, on to MACUL 2008, where I am not presenting, per se, but will be helping out in a few SIGTE sessions. I'm hoping to pull together a Twitter Cafe, of sorts. It won't be publicized, but if we tweet it, they will come. I'm hoping to walk away with new ideas, but also just come back refreshed and ready to take on the world. It will be fun to be an absorber of info this time around. I don't get to do that much anymore, so it is special when I get that opportunity!

I may not post reguarly for a bit -and I apologize in advance. I have my 3rd and final chapter due on Monday...and with MACUL, and sub plans...well...we'll see what happens. :) If you have read my last post, and are interested in reading more, let me know and I'll post some more! Although I'm kinda thinking that I'm either putting you to sleep or boring you to death...

I'll post when I can! See some of you at MACUL!

Technorati Tags:
MACUL 2008, ASCD, Summit, SIGTE, Twitter Cafe