Friday, November 28, 2008

Shameless Plug

Dateline Friday, 11/28/2008
Tonight I will be hosting another Digital Decompression session. This is a weekly online event for those passionate about technology and education to come and discuss how tech tools are being used in the classroom. The last one failed miserably. But Rome wasn't built in a day, how can an online discussion group? At any rate, if you have a few moments please do stop by at 8:00 pm CDT. To find the discussion simply point your browser to Stickam.com find the Group Chat button and select Debate Rooms. Once there, click on Digital Decompression. Hope to see you there!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Elementary Parent University

I can't believe I missed it! My oldest will be in kindergarten next year (how time flies). At any rate I just got home from IETC and my wife says, "I wanted to show you something before I threw it away." The "something" was a flyer from my local school district informing us that they will be hosting a Parent University to familiarize parents with tools the students are already using, including "Study Island, My Access and Custom typing" It's amazing because I just got back from T+L (Tech and Learning in Seattle) a few weeks ago and got my first look at some of these programs on the vendor floor.

So now, I'm excited to see them in action. And providing parents with some hands on experience not only is exciting, it's a key step to bridging the digital divide and catching the digital immigrants up to speed. Additionally, I just got back from IETC in Springfield. And one of the sessions I saw today was by Robert Small from District 211 on bridging the digital divide. And if I'm not mistaken (should probably check my notes) one of the programs he spoke about was exactly this: Bring the parents and the community to the school for training.

So now I'm really excited! Everything seems to be going my way, until I look at the date of the event: November 17th, 2008. That was last Monday. I'm so busy driving the information superhighway, I'm not paying attention to my small little piece of terra firma! Bummer. Time to find the Technology Director at the district and start hoping another date will be offered in the near future.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Death of the Digital Native

I have been thinking a great deal about my recent experience at T+L in Seattle. In Particular I was stuck by a comment made by Tim Tyson: "Being a Digital Native does not equate to digital literacy." Within that same breath, I recall the forcaster, Paul Saffo, guiding a thought process that I don't think reached fruition. Mr. Saffo talked about how the industrial age gave way to the consumer age which gave way to the digital age and the birth of the digital native. And now the digital age is giving way to the "Media Age." All this in the span of one Century!

Let's put some of this in perspective, shall we? Can you believe that Myspace has only been in existance for five years? Has it really only been 5 years since the social revolution that is web 2.0 went supernova? Sure their has been ICQ, Instant Messanger and even online communities brought to you by Compuserve, you remember Compuserve don't you, but the explosion happened in 2003! Yes, 2003!

Don't believe how quickly things have changed? Watch this video on the birth of the internet:



And so, I am thinking, perhaps rambling as I gather my thoughts to come to some conclusion.

Today I listened to an early podcast from David Warlick. During a discussion with educators, David asked the question: "What will the classroom look like in the year 2015?" One response sent a "shudder up his spine" and chills up mine. The comment refered to a "media native." It made it clear to me that we are no longer dealing with students who know how to use technology, we are dealing with students who are creating the technology! The Digital Native is already dead, and like a phoenix from the ashes a "Media Native" has emerged. This is why it is vital to break the walls and empower studnts. They are the new creators and inventors. Our job as responsible adults should be to step back and facilitate the natural learning, collaboration and authentic assessment that is occuring before our eyes! Our responsibility is to teach responsibility. To teach students ethical habbits and critical analysis will give them the tools to change the world!

Embrace a Media Native today!

On a sidenote, I'd like to welcome you to a new project I am working on for leaders in education and technology. The project is called Digital Decompression! Every Friday evening, I will be hosting a Stickcam conference for all of us involved in educational technology to gather and discuss the weeks events using the new Beta technology available at Stickam.com. Please, do stop by at approximately 9:00 P.M. CDT on 11/14/08 and introduce yourself at Stickam.com. Look for the Debate Room under the Group Chat tab. Find the Digital Decompression room and come on in. You don't need an account to join the chat but will need to sign up for a free Stickam account if you would like to use your webcam or microphone. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Big Ideas for Education

No time to waste on this one. The Landmark Project has an interesting initiative happening as I type. They are conducting a microblog survey and plan to compile the final action statements in just 18 hours! The associated statements collected will be published, with a request that education bloggers and microbloggers share their insights about their favorite statements, tagging their blogs appropriately. Once the request has been made, a facility will be added that enables prioritization of the action statements in order of importance and sequence.

Make your opinion count by making a statement today!
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