A note (again) on digital citizenship

I originally published this post in May of 2013. I feel this rant coming on again…so here you go.

I hear so many educators complain about how technology is hijacking our students’ education. How they don’t know how to be digital citizens. How they are addicted. How all they care about is YouTube and Facebook and their social lives. So instead of teaching it they dismiss it, poopoo it, and try to ban it.

Tell me… How do you propose students learn about being digital citizens if not at school?

Note over. And out.

so. technology is not the goal. what is?

Playing with Coggle, which I read about on Avi Spector’s blog, Beyond the Tools. Pretty neat little thinking tool.

Motivation, feedback, tech, and me.

The ‘and me’ is key. This is in reference to me as a teacher and therefore a creator of learning situations.

How do I use myself as a motivating instigator with those I teach?


Made lovingly with the GIMP and SweetClipArt

How do I provide effective feedback to those I teach?

How do I recognize the feedback I receive from those I teach, from my colleagues, from other professionals?

How do I mobilize technology when I teach, motivate, and provide or receive feedback?

These are all big questions but this is not a blog post about providing pat answers to those questions. They are ongoing questions and the answers may should change as I work with different (groups of) learners.

Essentially, I need to create situations where these questions are present, in the foreground. Situations where these questions create a framework for learning.

This week, I am examining the creation of Personalized Systems of Instruction (PSI) and specifically how Wix, Weebly, CamStudio, MERLOT, and Hot Potatoes could facilitate learning situations based on PSI (see here how PSI is used by Rocco Iafigliola in a Quebec CollegePhysics classroom).

Those questions will remain at the front line while I test out each of those resources. In the meantime, I have sent out a tweet for user experience…


source: Tweeted on Jan. 13.
Click here to view tweet + responses.

…to be continued :)

Once again…it’s not about technology

I saw this image floating around twitter this morning and it pretty much sums up what I think about technology and learning.

boring is still boring

We don’t want to use technology for the sake of having a fancy, shiny tool to bedazzle our audience into learning. Like THAT’S going to work. An iPad is not going to instantly transform a lesson that doesn’t connect with our learners into one that does. Really, it won’t. If we try to do that, we’ll probably end up supporting the notion that it just adds another distraction to our learners because it will offer them another way to divert their attention from the same thing they weren’t connecting with in the first place.

So, allow students to use an iPad if it makes sense. But not to dress up an old lesson.

The why or when to use it is really contextual. Creating, connecting, practicing, researching…these are all good reasons to want your learners to have access to an iPad. But the real questions lie around what you are expecting your learners to create, connect with, practice, and research. Does it have meaning for them?

Do they care?

And, ultimately, do you?

A culture of reading (+ technology)

I have had a series of conversations with different teachers and other educators about reading. Invariably the notion of a culture of reading comes up and just as invariably it is pitted against ‘technology’, as if it is something we need to save from the onslaught of technology.

Reading programs at schools and centres often want to focus on book reading, as if that is the only reading worthy of being part of the culture. I met with some educators who had implemented a ‘drop everything and read’ kind of program at their adult education centre and asked them about reading on devices – mainly phones and tablets. They proudly said, Oh no. This is a break from electronics – no devices allowed.

I have a difficult time seeing reading as something separate from technology. Of course, it is something that I used to do before I had a computer or ereader or tablet or smart phone but now I see those things as deepening the culture, widening it.

Yesterday, I wrote an article at one of my other blogs about how a culture of reading exists in my house that included a review of a phonics and vocabulary app called Endless ABC. Reading is an important part of my life and I share this with my two year old. I can’t imagine telling him that some reading is better than other reading. That some formats are better than others.

What do you think about a culture of reading and how it is fostered in schools, classrooms, homes?