I dare you to give a 16 year old a car but don’t give them any information about the rules of the road or a map. Tell ‘em to just wing it. Teach yourself, kid. How well do you think that would work out? Just think about the damage that could do. So why do we think that kids (not to mention adults) and computers will just “figure it out”?
I get really worked up when I think about the state of technology in our schools. How can we expect that our children will be prepared to face the hi-tech world outside of their school walls? When they graduate from high school, will the be adept at the tools they will find in the workplace? Are they able to speak the language, navigate data, and keep themselves safe? Will they even be able to find jobs? No No No No No and No. They have no opportunities in which to be prepared. If the teachers don’t know, then how can they arm our future breadwinners with the skills they’ll need to survive in this increasingly digital world? The more I think about it, the more upset I get.
I wish I could go door to door and teach the teachers. Get them up to speed on what’s available (see Social Media in the Classroom), work them through their fears so that they can figure out ways that they can use these amazing tools in their classrooms. Essays in blogs, language learning via video conference, literary discussions in collaborative digital classrooms, higher math assistance available on streaming video, mobile applications that allow you to “adopt a creek” and report statistical data regarding the biosphere, architectural designs tested via augmented reality and 3D rendering software. All available. All begging to be played with. All limited only by our imaginations.
We need to teach them them how to research, develop, communicate, program, build, compute, be productive and stay safe. These skills are only going to become more necessary. There simply has to be a way to gear up and get these people they skills they need. Our financial livelihoods and economy depends on it. You wouldn’t dream of handing a kid keys to a vehicle and not training him how to use it. Carnage will follow.
- Back to School: 10 Terrific Web Applications for Teachers, Mashable
- Twitter Guide Book, Mashable
- Message Matters, Social Media Resource Blog from an Administrator, Lorrie Jackson
- Social Media Classroom, platform and tool (added 2/17/10)
- 100 Ways to Use Social Media in the Classroom, Online College (added 2/20/10)
- Collaborize Classroom (added 6/17/11)
Technology in Schools:
- Quest to Learn
- Stuart School in Santa Rosa, North Bay Business Journal
- Can a School Library be Replaced by E-Readers? Mashable
- Where Media Literacy Fits in the World of Education, Center for Media Literacy
- Building a Shared Learning Environment, Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies
- Social Media and Young Adults, Pew Internet & American Life Project
- Virtual World Simulation Training Prepares Real Guards on the US-Canadian Border: Loyalist College in Second Life, Linden Lab (added 6/17/11)
- 13 Enlightening Case Studies of Social Media in the Classroom, Edu-tastic
Science and Health:
- Video Game Increases Teenager’s Science Knowledge, Science Daily
- @ElsieTeen, Elsie Allen Teen Clinic Twitter Page
- Science of the Winter Games, Lessonopoly (added 2/20/10)
- Facebook Profile for Holocaust Victim, Mashable
English, Writing, Expression:
- The Tao of Tavi Gevinson (13yr old blogging phenom), Chicago Tribune
- Style Rookie, Tavi Gevinson
- Does Digital Media Make Us Bad Writers? Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning
- Critical Viewing and Critical Thinking Skills, Center for Media Literacy
- Montgomery High Principal Using Twitter for Emergencies, Press Democrat
- Montgomery’s Twitter Alert Tested, Press Democrat
- @MHSvikings, Monty’s Twitter Page