Writing in Multimedia
Dr. Richard Miller from Rutgers University had a unique series of YouTube videos on writing in multimedia. The videos were all about 'alternative' ways of publishing and producing information. Instead of library books made from pen and paper, these videos advocate digital publishing. I certainly agree with this method. It is more current, more interactive, and can be used on more of a global scale. Students and adults can share knowledge not just with the few people who may or may not read a book in a library, but they can share it with the world when they post it on the Internet. That is a pretty cool thing for a kid especially to know - that so many will be able to read and be interested in what they have learned.
As far as whether or not I am ready for this, I'm not 100% sure. I am pretty proficient in word processing, but I don't claim to know all about it or the other forms of technology to use. This class has opened my eyes to the various means and methods that technology can be used. Specific to the topic of this video, however, I think I am pretty ready for this challenge.
I plan to prepare my students as well as I can in this area. I will implement both written and electronic assignments using all manner of technology as pertains to the assignment. I plan to learn all that I can so that I will be able to best serve the needs of my students. I want to offer all manner of activities and methods so that all my students will be able to maybe find that one thing that fits them that they are comfortable using.
The Networked Student
I have mixed feelings about this video by Wendy Drexler. On the one hand, I am completely on board with students having a PLN and using technology to learn. On the other hand, I am saddened to think that this may be, in some way, be eliminating the need for direct teaching. Although the video does maintain the role of the teacher as a moderator and one who teaches the students how to find these things, I imagine that this will eventually become all that a teacher is - even in the elementary school setting.
I think it is part of our job as teachers to train students to think for themselves and find answers on their own. That is a no brainer and something I think that every teacher should strive for. To put learning and school in an such an online format, I think, devalues the training that those in the field today have already gone through. Should they learn new methods? Absolutely! Should the ones coming behind them (myself included) be trained in this area? Yes! But should classes even at the elementary level be solely electronically based with the teacher who has gone through so much conventional training reduced to the role of moderator? Absolutely not!
I am not downing technology or being a moderator and teacher of these things. I think the good and creative teacher will find ways to combine the methods of the past with all the bright hope of the technology of the future. His or her training will be worth it, the students will be more balanced, and a lot of learning can still take place and be shared with the whole world! I look forward to implementing technology in my own classroom, but I also want to make the best use of the "pen and pencil" methods I have learned and will learn. I think it just makes sense to give our students the best of both worlds!
Toward a New Future of Whatever
I enjoyed Michael Wesch's video. There were a lot of parts of it that thoroughly confused me and made me wonder why the heck I was watching it. His delivery was really good, however, and he finally made it to something that made sense to me (YouTube!). YouTube is a fascinating tool that I can definitely see myself using. He also brought in Twitter, Facebook, and blogs as forms of expressions as well.
I can well relate to this "search for significance" and presenting a "version of myself" for the world to see. I think it is really important to always present yourself well. I have learned the importance of self-presentation during my college years because that sets the impression that people will have of you for years to come. It is nerve wracking, I imagine, to sit in front of a camera (or a person) and lay yourself out on the line. There is a lot at stake. I am self conscious about talking to a camera or the like when there are others watching. I am also not exactly keen on talking in front of others (although thanks to public speaking class, that is getting better.).
Comments for Teachers and Kids
Over the past few weeks, I have gotten to comment on some student blogs. Most of them are just about their day and things they are doing in class. I am able to encourage them and learn from them through these posts. This week was no exception, as I got to encourage some students in New Zealand as they take action to help their environment. I also got to comment on a teacher blog where she posted a really cute game (more about that in a future post) and able to make her a part of my PLN.