Image via WikipediaThe first comment I did was on Eli Y's blog post about iTouch apps that he liked. It was from Mrs. White's fourth grade class in Crozet, Virginia. Mrs. White is super nice and we're following each other on Twitter now so I get updates on her class and such. (She said she liked my profile picture, so she's cool.) In any case, I was impressed with her class's blog and at how advanced they are in the fourth grade. Especially with Eli's knowledge of applications for the popular Apple technology the iTouch. I hadn't heard of most of those apps he listed, Angry Birds being the exception. It's amazing. When I was in fourth grade I was worried about the kickball game at recess and if they were serving popcorn chicken at lunch. My interactions with portable media technology was limited to my Mom letting me play snake on her cellphone or my brother allowing me to play Donkey Kong on his Gameboy.
My second comment for this month was on Mr. St. Pierre's class blog and more specifically on a student named Daniel's post of a poem he wrote about sports. I thought it was cute and left a little note about sports that we both liked and gave him the link to my blog so he could leave me a comment back if he wished. This class was also fourth grade, although in New York this time, and I think I'm starting to see a common denominator. Haha!
So, taking a break from fourth graders, I was given the opportunity to comment on the blog of a fifth year student from Pt. England School in Auckland, NZ. Her name is Cheyanne. She had posted a This is Me post with a picture of herself in her classroom. I introduced myself and my reason for posting on her blog. I told her that I want to visit New Zealand at some point because I had heard it was beautiful, but that I live in Alabama and I gave a little description of Alabama weather (aka the humidity). I also expressed my belief that her use of a blog in Mr. Marks' class was great and a step toward her own technological literacy. Although I didn't use those exact words. I'm not sure fifth graders are up on the terminology we use in EDM310 and I didn't want to confuse her. Anyway, I hope that she comments back on my blog or on her blog. It would be great to establish a repertoire with students across the globe.
In total, I think the fact that there are so many teachers working with their students to acclimate them to blogging and using the tools available through technology is heartening. Personally, I was lucky in elementary through high school if my teachers took my class to the computer lab to type up a report once a year.
The only way I gained the computer and tech skills that I have today is because my parents made sure I learned how to type (Mavis Beacon, anyone?) and bought one of the first personal computers that was available to the public: Windows 98. I can still hear the faint sound of the dial-up connection to the internet and the media packets that came with the now outdated computer, where I danced to minute long clips of the Go-Go Girls and other songs. I learned how to type on that computer. I learned how to navigate the Start menu and install programs--mostly learning games--onto the then massive hard drive that now can fit inside my phone. As the technology advanced, my parents made sure I was exposed to it. We had a VCR, a video recorder, a DVD player, a stereo, another, faster computer, finally leading to laptops for my siblings and myself, cellphones, and the list goes on and on.
The thing about technology isn't that it's important. No, it goes farther than that. Technology is the embodiment of innovation. If we examine technology throughout history, the things that were so revolutionary back in our great-grandparent's time--radios, television, telephones in your homes, air conditioning--are old news and taken for granted today. We can't stop expanding, can't stop pushing the envelope. The problem that I have come to discover is that we often fail to realize that while we are advancing technologically, we are stuck in other ways.
Education being one. I know I've probably beat this topic to death in some of my other posts, but I still feel like I have a point to make. Just think about it. If we educate our students using the newest technologies and find a way to incorporate said technology into our classrooms, just imagine how much further we can go if they aren't working their adult lives away trying to catch back up. The idea isn't too crazy, is it? I don't think so.