powerful moments in education
Photo courtesy of Felipe Ibáñez Guzmán
That’s a LOT of “-tions”.
But “-tions” are mostly nouns- and active at that! …Celebration, recreation….. Regardless, the question is now, where have I been?
I have been on Edmodo, on Glogster, and Blackboard. I have been exploring and comparing Web 2.0 tools, writing acceptable use policies, and participating in Skype conference calls. Terms and phrases such as “just copy/paste the URL” or “upload the image from your library” or “document the link in your backpack” have become my temporary norm. As one of my boys put it this week, “Hey…haven’t we been using the computer a lot lately?” I knew we had a ‘problem’ when I told them they would turn in their current project by posting their “Glog” to their “Blog”. But, you know, it’s cool.
Soon enough, we will unplug and return to our Mod Podge, paint, and props. Because that is inherently, genetically, where we want to be. Yet some part of us needs the instant gratification of the never ending road of information, as well as the application of such knowledge. It’s a beautiful place.
On Edmodo, I have students asking me questions, for furthering knowledge, or clarification. And NO! I am not sitting at my computer all night waiting for them but when I do finally respond, they have a record of our conversation and recommended resources. In 1 week, I have had students ask me a question about homework, change topics on a project, ask about our town’s coordinates due to our math lesson and share “kid friendly” search engines with each other. How can I argue with any of this???
I must say, I now know that my hunger for an understanding of technology was due to my empty puzzle. It was a puzzle of differentiation techniques that contained a few missing pieces, like when Curious George swallows the piece and “Goes to the Hospital”. The difference is that I could not ingest barium and expect doctors to see the missing element. I had to find it. And…I did.
One boy’s face lit up when I showed him Evernote, because he could assemble a written project “in the cloud” and access it at home if he wanted. Another lit up when he realized he wouldn’t have to strain his hand to write at ALL for our biography interactive poster on Glogster. Two girls looked at each other with amazement when they discovered they might be able to create a digital, interactive map about the path of a Russian immigrant.
Hello? Do you HEAR the buzz?!?
These are the same kids, though, that thrive on watercolor paintings, giggle at interpretive dancing, and look solemn during reinactions of powerful historical events. It is the power of arts AND technology that create the whole. From this, I will not depart. We need them both.