Curiosity doesn’t always have to kill the cat.

In this particular situation I guess I’m the cat. I don’t think my curiosities will “kill” me, however they may drag me through the ringer a few times, especially as I explore my wonderings and create new perceptions. What am I interested in? What do I wonder? I have so many wonders. At times my brain feels void of wonderings, mostly because so many build up in there my brain goes numb to all of the “hmmm?” going on.

I am however going to try and narrow it down to one. HA! I know – good luck you say. I recently read ‘What is educational technology, anyway? A commentary on the new AECT definition of the field‘ authored by Denis Hlynka and Michele Jacobsen. The article opens by saying “we are in a rush to incorporate new technology into teaching-learning situations on campus and in schools.” Isn’t that the truth. Sadly, I find that for many of us, our understanding on how to incorporate new technology meaningfully seems to be amiss. Too often as educators we are thrown the buzz phrases and new trends and told to dance. Sadly, I never look as cute as the little money wearing a vest holding the small coin cup. My approach is a tad more spastic and considerably haphazard in nature.

organ_grinder_with_monkey

Image: saved from skagwayfolklore.blogspot.com

As an educator, how we manage the little time we have should not have anything to do with the descriptors spastic and haphazard. So as I explore my wonderings, my goal is to replace ‘spastic’ with ‘intentional’ and ‘haphazard’ with ‘methodical’.

In Hlynka and Jacobsen article they inserted a quote pulled from the article ‘Educational Technology: A definition with commentary (2008)‘ written by A. Januszewski and M. Molenda.  The quote they used outlined the new definition of Educational Technology. This definition can also be found with a simple Google search. It states that “Educational technology is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.”

When I read this, one of the “hmmmm’s?” in my brain sounded a tad more prominent than the rest. It grew even louder when I continued reading and read how Hlynka and Jacobsen broke the definition down into its parts. “The purpose of educational technology is facilitating learning by improving performance.” Technology in our classrooms and learning commons should not be there so that I can simply hand my students a device with a fun app (where the spastic and haphazard comes in). It needs to be far more meaningful than that. It must improve performance and students understanding of whatever competency they are exploring.

I have a few YODA’s in my corner of the education ring, that resonate the very wise statement “pick one thing and do it well”. I want to explore how I can incorporate meaningful, intentional uses of technology to improve student learning in the area of writing. More specifically, for my grade one emergent writers that demonstrate such a diverse set of learning needs.

Meow….for now

  • Dearin

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This is where I will being my topic exploration.

Keywords/ phrases:

digital literacy and writing, digital text, digital portfolios, engaging learners through the use of technology, software/ platforms to support emergent writers (clicker 6, CoWriter, Kurzweil, Solo6, Moviemakers, Photo story, Book creator), Multimodal literacy

Online Resources/ Articles:

Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning – George Siemens, Peter Tittenberger, March 2009

BC Ministry of Education Digital Literacies

The NCTE Definition of 21st Century Literacies

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If you have any others suggestions send them my way. It really would be very helpful.

References:

Hlynka, D., & Jacobsen, M. (2009). What is educational technology, anyway? A commentary on the new AECT definition of the field. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology/ La revue canadienne de l’apprentissage et de la technology, 35(2).

Association for Educational Communications and Technology (2008). Definition. In A. Januszewski and M. Molenda (Eds.), Educational Technology: A definition with commentary. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

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