When my father-in-law was in charge of technology for a school division this is a comment he received one day from a woman overwhelmed by the sheer amount of new knowledge she was attempting to learn. When he tells this story everyone laughs as we all know that “technology” didn’t just happen in the span of a few years. However, as someone who has been out of the loop for a sustained amount of time, technology does have a way of moving on at quite a rapid pace.
When I began at Cornwall 6 years ago one of the skills that gave me an edge was my skills in technology. I had a wiki site, I was using Mathletics for Math, all sorts of interesting tech ideas that no one at this school knew about. I am one of four teachers in my school and we are an independent school which means we have no movement of staff in or out. This is great for creating a very close team environment but terrible for the passive input of new ideas.
What I’ve come to realize through this course (and indeed, before as it partly prompted my motivation for taking the course) is that my complacency in my position and not keeping up with new technology trends has put me much farther behind than I realized. I often feel cut off from other educators which has been one of the best parts of participating in the masters programs. But with the development of online PLNs as well as you know, the internet, my lack of knowledge falls squarely on my shoulders.
In deciding what I would like to tackle as part of my personal media journey, there is a huge part of me that wants to say everything! I just want to become instantly adept at all of the latest trends. However even I know this is an unrealistic goal. What I am thinking would be a good place to start is by first of all increasing my posting on the social media sites I already use instead of usually lurking. I am the person who will go to type or share something and then delete before posting because it makes me uncomfortable. The other step I would like to take on my personal media journey is to create an Instagram account. This is something both personally I feel I could learn from and one of the apps my students suggested I should learn.
Professionally I would like to begin using google classroom and the other google tools that can go with it. I think that this would be a good place for me to begin as they seem to be well made and designed to integrate well together. I have a google site currently but it is fairly minimal and outdated. My site is private and only shared with myself and my eight students. Therefore I never really thought about providing proper credit for images, etc. I have been thinking a lot about what Alec was saying about modeling digital citizenship for our students. I plan for this to be a focus when I work in google classroom to create something that I can feel proud to share.
Lastly, I want to find a tool to utilize for communication with my students. I want a platform that I can monitor as my students being teenagers who sometimes struggle with behaviour I am anxious around creating something that can run away from me. My students don’t always have minutes on their phones or access to the internet but are fairly good at knowing all the good free wi-fi places. Some have personal devices and some don’t so it would be best if it could be something that could also be access from a desktop computer (which they all have at their spots at school). If anyone has any suggestions for a fantastic tool that would be awesome 🙂