Tag Archive: digital

As a parent I want the latest and most useful technology tools in the hands of my own kids.  As a student, I want it in my own hands.  As a district level administrator specializing in technology integration, I want it in the hands of the thousands of students and teachers and administrators I serve. 

The future of technology is not just the software, not just the hardware but is inclusive of the social network that uses it all.  Having an integrated tool that is mobile is a key in making it all work.

From a practical standpoint, and as a parent of kids who bring home (no kidding) 40lbs of books in a book bag each day, the idea of a single, lightweight, mobile and easily transportable device makes perfect sense.  If that device is connected socially; allows for input for notes, creation of documents, charts, pictures; carries the latest updatable information, it has hit the target squarely in the middle. 

Technology tends to get out to the masses and is used in business by those who figure it out long before it hits the classrooms.  This has to change. I have said for years that the last place to get the most up to date technology is a school setting.  By the time it gets there, it is no longer the latest or the greatest anything and our kids in school are shorted on that end. 

How great would it be if electronic text books came out before best sellers on an e-reader?  How awesome would it be if the first million Wii or X-Box Knect showed up in k-12 Gyms before the living rooms of the world?  How incredible would it be if a lightweight, touchscreen slate computer was issued the first days of school to each student and wireless was ubiquitous in each building rather than having to be tied to a wire? 

How can it influence the future?  If we take the use of technology tools as seriously as we take the ability to read, write, cipher and understand science and the world we live in, the influence is endless. The problem is the fear.  Not the fear kids have (they have little to none), the fear that some of our teachers and educational leaders have.  The lack of relevance that technology tools seem to have to them is amazing.  If once patiently embraced, I can see the future taking flight.

I can see it.  I can feel it.  I can almost touch it.  It is the future.


I wanted to repost this from last summer on my other Blog as I was thinking it is still relevant…

The NECC 09 conference has ended and this whole week has been an incredible read and great to follow online. I wasn’t able to attend, but with all the Twitporting going on, it was like being there. The statement that is the title of this post struck me first–and then many others bowled me over.

I read and re-read this Tweet on my smartphone over and over. I let it roll around in my head the last couple days and wanted to be somewhat coherent in my thoughts about a statement that has the potential to be very powerful.

As I read it once, I thought “content=curriculum and how does that become irrelevant?”

It doesn’t.

Curriculum doesn’t become irrelevant, it will always be there–it is the basis from which we teach. Curriculum may change, content may change, but it will not become “irrelevant.” In essence, it will take care of itself so perhaps it is not the thing we need to “worry” about.

The “process is the future” statement speaks volumes. Process by which we teach; process by which students learn; process by which students demonstrate understanding–there is the future.

In this web 2.0 world, those processes need to evolve much as the evolution has been from a single aristocratic student and his (purposeful) mentor evolved to classrooms and schools with teachers. Our processes need to evolve as tools have evolved from writing on the ground in the dirt to paper and pen to slates and chalk and eventually to our digital tools. How we as educators communicate with our students and they communicate with us is a process that we need to hone. What tools we use should become a part of our daily lives as it does for our students.

With that in mind, think about what tools there are to reach out to others educationally. Do you know? Do you want to know? What are your thoughts?

I got an email from a friend asking me what I thought about the Kindle and the applications in education.  Actually, I was asked if I had one first and then the educational application.  I wanted one, especially the newer, larger version but I am holding off.

I think that (as much as some PC diehards don’t like Macs) the new iPad has greater potential than the Kindle. While I think the Kindle is an ideal reader, and it has established a high base line to achieve, It may be limited to just a reader. Certainly, it has the capability to highlight and take notes, but I am not sure of the expanded capabilities beyond that. As long as teachers are using it to have students read and prepare for a discussion, it can be good. I would love to get one in my hands and do a side by side comparison of what uses it would have in the classroom.

The iPad it seems will have expanded capability for other uses as well as regular internet connectivity. The downside is that (at this point) there is no plan to include any office type products. It will read Word docs, PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets but lacks editing capability. However, with office as an online product in the cloud, that capability may exist without folks really knowing it. I think the iPad will have far greater capability than a kindle and it will have access to the Kindle software as well as library (there’s an app for that).

Kind of renders the Kindle a little less attractive.

Your thoughts?