Being a techie teacher I was quite excited when @JudyArzt invited me to her class for a Skype session with Alan November! I use his book, Empowering Students with Technology, in two of the courses I teach and read it myself as a graduate. @JudyArzt and I agreed that she and I would be mum during the Skype interview so that the students could ask their questions. Can I just say how hard that was for me? I was definitely using my wait time because when it comes to tech I can definitely monopolize the conversation, and having Alan November there to chat with I so easily could have done that! I did get two questions in, as a follow up to his responses to others’, but focused on capturing the conversation on Twitter. The Storify of those tweets is here, but I wanted to take a moment to reflect on a few things he said.
One of the first questions was asked by @reisc25 about parent involvement. Alan’s point struck me, not because of the tech solutions he provided, but because of how he removed it from tech. Here I am, this teacher that strives herself in using technology to keep parents informed (Twitter, Facebook, website, Evernote) and have used DVD in the past, but these simple tips are just that…simple! Not to mention that they are a fab way to maintain student relationships!
Another student asked at what age to put children’s work online. I know that not everyone will agree with him, or me, but I felt validated. I am of the mind that we should have children online as soon as possible. If they can click their way through their parents’ smartphones and tablets, then they are ready to click their work online. With the advent of touch technology, doing such things makes working with tech intuitive for kiddos. In addition to that, I firmly believe that if we get kiddos on social media in particular then digital citizenship skills will be like breathing. I say social media because when I think of putting student work online I think of portfolios, and immediately think of social media because of the reflective piece of portfolios and the learning process.
With all of the chatter going on in education about assessment and accountability the next question was pretty timely. This student asked about whether Alan foresaw there being an assessment for technology, and how kiddos would fare with state and national assessments going tech. His responses are below, but the rebel in me found his comment about no standards interesting. But it also got me thinking. If tech standards would be obsolete, than what about other standards? Tech makes so much possible that doesn’t it make all other content standards obsolete? He also commented on keyboarding, and I whole-heartedly agree with ditching cursive and replacing it with keyboarding. He suggested some alternatives for kiddos to practice that skill, and I will be posting about an idea I kidnapped from someone about ten years ago that would also be an inexpensive alternative.
Thanks to @JudyArzt for the invite! Thanks to @globalearner for taking time out of his day to Skype in. And thanks to EDUC584 for asking thoughtful questions! I appreciated the learning experience!