My background in technology looks like this:
This is a movie barcode from the film Jaws.
Why is my technology background similar to Jaws? Fear. Jaws is scary, and technology
scares me used to scare me. A few years ago, I stood as a committed Luddite, an Emmersonian excuse-maker: “I didn’t need a smart phone. I have the trees,” I’d muse with a stubborn glow upon my face, secretly trembling whenever anyone mentioned wikis, blogs, or, gasp, twitter. “That stuff is for people who don’t have a real life and have to make up a digital one.”
Cut to the present moment. Luddite no longer, I actually think I’ve forgotten how to write with a pen. The words wikis, blogs, and twitter set me smiling, and I am an
obsessed committed Mac user, despite my novice status.
Next year I will use my mac every day. I actually have had dreams about how to use my mac, so I’m starting to worry about the
obsessed committed part of me. Nevertheless, they’re interesting ideas:
1) Make a film about dramatic irony where I’m sitting at my desk explaining it, and someone is sneaking up behind me with a squirt gun (or fake knife. Know your audience). Show this film to my students, and then have them make their own short (1 min) films to explain difficult literary devices. Put these films on a wiki/blog where they will always have access to them.
2) Start a blog for classroom management: we will keep all documents, and the students will write comments for quick formative assessments on the lesson. That way we can go back and see our learning over time, because they will tag their comments with their names (first names or initials only- stay safe!).
3) Continue to write to #20minwms on Twitter, but this time my students will tweet. Yes, twitter has proven to be another great formative assessment tool. Maybe later I will use screen shots of their old tweets as journal prompts for metacognitive reflection on their learning.
4) Use google forms to do a running formative assessment of the students’ growth over time in self assessment. No stress, lots of data, fast!
More ideas will be forthcoming. I just haven’t had enough dreams yet.
I’m a little worried about the organization of going to a paperless classroom since my digital filing system
is wretched leaves something to be desired, yet I have resigned myself to the fact that learning is messy… both my learning and my students’ learning.
I know my technology movie-barcode now looks like Kung-Fu Panda:
Full of fun, and I’m ready to face any obstacle coming my way!