Monday, July 21, 2014

10 Direct Quotes From Kids About Technology

Some posts just write themselves.  Last week we hosted our 6th EdtechRI Unconference but with a new twist.  We invited experienced users, aka students from grades 1-9, to join us.  At the end of the session the students took questions from the audience.  Here are 10 direct quotes from our esteemed panel. 
  • You can build whatever you want in mine craft, I like to build floating houses
  • Slow internet drives me insane
  • I like Quizlet because when I'm on my way to school I can study on my phone
  • My Talking Tom is a cat you can say things and it can repeat it in weird voices and you need to feed it  and it can go to sleep
  • I like to play around and learn by myself because I think it makes it harder and more fun to discover different ways that someone teaching you didn't  even know
  • I enjoy random stuff with  technology I do not care what it is
  • I use Pinterest a lot because I am really obsessed with shoes
  • I learn how to use apps by reading the directions at the beginning but then I just figure it out my own 
  • My dad didn't want to hire a plumber to fix the garbage disposal so he took everything out from under the sink and put the ipad under there and watched a You Tube video on how to do it
  • Our teacher showed us a little about it,  just the main things, and then we just played around with it to try to figured out other things

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Things Weren't That Different Ten Years Ago, Were They?

Growing up in the 70s and 80's I can recollect with ease what I perceived to be monumental technological advances.  Back then when a new device, gadget, or electronic was introduced it was coupled with a sense of amazement. I can actually recall the details surrounding the circumstances.  Yes, I remember vividly getting a compact disc player (the first cd I purchased was Born To Run), a VCR (the first show I recorded was Days of our Lives, for my sister, I swear!) and a cordless telephone (the first person I called was my childhood crush who I dare not name because she is a teacher and may be reading this blog).

Perhaps it's because so much is coming at us so fast or maybe it is because I now experience the world as an adult, but the same cannot be said of the technological advances that I have experienced over the past decade.  Rather than announce their presence, the innovations I take for granted today have seeped into my life without fanfare and are not associated with any specific memory.

So, what does this have to do with learning in the 21st Century?

As educators we must recognize the profound difference between reaching the mind of a 10 year old who was in awe of a television remote control and a 10 year old who is carrying the world in the palm of his hand.

Although we are impressed, we are no longer surprised by the latest and greatest technological advances.  This has caused a fundamental shift in how learners view the world and more importantly how we view learning.

Ten Things I Did Today I Couldn't Have Imagined Doing 10 Years Ago

  • I used Google Hangout to talk to my son who is away for the week
  • I used Facebook to share information with relatives in Italy
  • I read Tweets from educators from around the world
  • I downloaded and began reading, VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV's First Wave
  • I went on You Tube and watched the original MTV broadcast that was referenced in the book
  • I uploaded this post to my blog
  • I listened to music on my iPod
  • I used a GPS to get from Philadelphia to New York City
  • I uploaded dates on to my Google calendar
  • I paid bills and made a deposit online