Technology has made teens obsessed with the present moment. With feverish intensity, they post the latest happening on Instagram or Tumblr, marching around like paparazzi, holding up their phones to flash and capture every little detail of their lives unfolding.
"By bringing together people who share interests, no matter their location or time zone, social media has the potential to transform the workplace into an environment where learning is as natural as it is powerful." - Marcia Conner
Recently, I presented an online webinar with education colleagues from different parts of the U.S. The webinar, Social Media Savvy for Educators, was well received. Our purpose in sharing was to:
Support educators who were new to using social media
I agree that students should have recess and play outside.
I agree that young children need to interact in a face-to-face setting.
I agree that it is developmentally critical to engage with paper, paint, blocks, crayons and even the dirt on the ground, because elementary students need to experience the physical world.
Matt Galligan, co-founder of SimpleGeo, says, "The future of mobile is the future of everything." Galligan sees a future where mobile will pervade every facet of life, from communication to wallets to car keys.
English novelist and playwright E.G. Bulwer-Lytton once wrote, "A revolution is a transfer of power." We might just be on the brink of a revolution when it comes to kids, technology and schools.
High school student Jeff Bliss' recent, public and viral rant about his teacher has unsettled the minds and hearts of every teacher working with kids right now. At the drop of a hat, a student can go public with dissatisfaction or disgruntlement, unleashing a torrent of response and reprisal.
Recently, NPR launched a new blog entitled Code Switch to examine the "frontiers of race, culture and ethnicity." Blog host Gene Demby explains: "We're looking at code switching a little more broadly. Many of us subtly, reflexively change the way we express ourselves all the time. We're hop-scotching between different cultural and linguistic spaces and different parts of our own identities -- sometimes within a single interaction."
This year, I admitted a hard truth to myself. I wasn't having my students write enough. In an attempt to follow Kelly Gallagher’s advice that students should write more than we can assess, I decided to have them blog weekly.
A few days ago a student approached me and said he needed to talk about something, and he wanted to meet the next day at recess. I appreciated the way he reached out to me and I looked forward to the opportunity to meet with him. He came into my office with a sheepish look on his face, spoke in a quiet voice and said that he had done something he was not feeling good about. I asked him what it was, and he informed me that he had violated the technology policy by downloading some games onto his school-issued iPad, bypassing restrictions and settings.
Since I started in education, I have been trying to find ways to connect students' learning beyond the classroom walls. Initially, the task presented many hurdles. Infrastructure was limited, devices were bulky and slow, and the access was not quite available. In order to connect students with the outside world, a permission slip and a school bus were needed. Today, many of those hurdles have been overcome, and connecting students beyond the classroom is a viable option. To make those connections, I use Google Hangouts.