The Whys and the Hows

I haven’t written in several days, and its not that there isn’t anything interesting happening in the blogging/internet sphere. I’m just focussed on my classroom which will have students in 4 days. Of the many thoughts floating about in my head, many involve my implementation of technology. Am I just implementing something for the sake of itself rather than looking first at the state standards and then proceeding to the tools? I think I am at that point, having taught for 5 years, that while I have not completely internalized the standards completely, I have a general recollection of them whenever I design a new lesson. I think the technology tools are for me personally motivational, and that enthusiasm carries over into what the kids perceive (just like my excitement about reading and learning). I enjoy the unpredictablility of using these tools and the team work that is required in solving problems that arise. I once had a student who I was helping to use a drawing tool with. I had added a Wacom drawing tablet and she picked up the pen and started trying to draw directly on the monitor and I told her, "yes you are right it should work that way, but you’re way ahead of the people who make computers." This unpreditable aspect of young minds meeting technology is what fascinates me. They were born into a hyperlinked, interactive, multimedia world, "let’s have fun." I don’t want things to be predictable to the point where I don’t get excited, but the problem may be that teachers won’t proceed with a learning tool until they feel a greater mastery. And that’s not going to happen with the rapid evolution of Web 2.0.

Onto more mundane topics, I have been concerned about using BlogMeister, in terms of its limitations for posting media such as pictures and sound, but I think for the pictures I’ll set up a seperate Flickr pro account for my classroom that is separate from my personal pictures. That way if something is accidentally erased or altered I won’t have to worry about it. For podcasts right now I’m leaning towards again creating a classroom account using Ourmedia account, but I may choose something else if I come across an easier to use tool. The pictures that my students use they can do so independently, but the podcast I think I will be more involved with when it comes to posting. I was’nt going to really do that much with podcasts, but I think it will help solve a problem that I’ve always had with process writing, and that is during the editing step the students do not read their paper but instead hand it off to someone else. Podcasts will force them to read aloud and this will help them catch their errors. It always happens that when I conference with a student and ask them to read their paper that they catch many errors that slipped through the process (technology to the rescue).

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