Check out our reading this week!
I loved the following quote from Jenkins (2008), “for the generation which has come of age alongside networked computing, these practices do not simply represent “entertainment” or “distraction. “These practices are important gateways into larger learning cultures that help support young people as they construct their identities and navigate their social surroundings.” I think this is at the crux of why it is so important to value technology and incorporate it as a teacher. Today’s kids really find identity within technology. Technology is not just a time waster or distraction it is at the crux of their social growth, identity, and learning. As such the old school teaching techniques feel more foreign to them than anything computer based. Another connection I made was that technology is a gateway and support in helping students learn. This makes complete sense as technology is so prevalent and imperative to our kids learning. Technology allows for students to access and implement effective learning strategies as well as have control over their own learning. Making a connection to my own classroom I see this all the time. Some of my lower readers will challenge themselves so much in their work as soon as it is computer based. I love watching my lower readers explore a reading website or program and not only picking their own learning but challenging themselves to read more! The above quote really resonated with me and truly is what I believe as an educator.
I loved the portion of this reading that talked about making connection to the real world and rooting learning in real world application. At the end of the day as teachers we are trying to prepare students to participate in and function in a fast paced world. Rooting learning in real world connection and application is really the most effective means to this end. This coupled with incorporation of DIY practices and progressive teaching could change learning and success for all of our students. I love the idea of students making online connections and meaning in their own way but also incorporating their learning into it. As a teacher I think this is the ideal way to demonstrate learning and mastery of classroom concepts. Not only do they first have to understand and know the material but they have to remix it and incorporate it in a meaningful way to them.
Another big takeaway for me was that teachers need to get their hands dirty and do it themselves and learn. As an educator you are never done learning and technology is part of that! In order to do our jobs as educators to the best of our ability we need to be current on technology and explore. We need to have an understanding of technology and its ability in order to integrate it into the classroom in a meaningful and productive manner. If we as teachers don’t first have a basic understanding how can we hope to maximize the potential of learning technology can offer. Furthermore I think teachers also need to realize that they technology piece is something that everyone is working on and can support each other in. I would love to see learning communities and supports within my school to help teachers develop and grow together. As a joined team we could accomplish so much more and be so much more effective!
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