Well, to say that was a whirlwind semester would be an understatement! So much learning, so little time… and it was June to boot.
I started thinking about what to do for my summary of learning right away, well following week 2, when Heidi and I finished our debate. For some reason, every time I was considering what platform to use and what I was going to say, a song popped in my head (well two, actually).
I set to work right away, and started creating ‘the lyrics’, as this was (inevitably) going to turn into a singing summary.
My first attempt, was with Don McLean’s American Pie. I was able to create lyrics that went with the song, and reflected fairly thoroughly (it’s a REALLY long song). When it came time to record… I wasn’t feeling it.
Feel free to sing along…
So, I switched gears, and went with song #2 that kept popping into my head. Enter lyric re-write.
Next, I had to work through determining what the best recording option was. A student recommended an app called ‘Auto Rap‘ after several hours, and several failed attempts, and sharing it with a colleague for advice. I decided to just use music from YouTube, and sing along.
While it was much better, I’m aware that I have tendencies to be a perfectionist in some realms (this is one of them), I spent some more time fixing the ‘video’ and one more attempt recording – using a microphone and I think I figured it out.
Enough with the technical side though, what about the learning?!
One of the things I have found most beneficial in my learning over the last few months stems from the SAMR model. I’ve often seen the version which illustrates a boat on top of the water, and as you move through the ‘levels’ you get deeper and deeper. I appreciate that depending on one’s comfort level with technology could easily dictate where you fall on the scale (if you fall on it at all). However, I have also come to understand that in order to currently be the most effective teacher of 21st century learners, we need to move our comfort level along at a much faster rate. We also must further our technology skills through PD (even if that means it is self directed and in our own time).
Because technology is never static and constantly changing/developing at such an accelerated rate, if we as educators do not stay on top of technology, we are doing our students a greater and greater disservice. That being said, as Dean Shareski shares in his blog about coding, as teachers, we are generalists, it would be impossible to expect that teachers are experts in all areas they teach.
As far as what we teach and how we teach it goes, teachers should not have the ability to stick their ‘heads in the sand’ and wait for technology to go away – that’s not going to happen.
I will continue to strive for ‘balance’ within all aspects of my life, and I will continue to help my children find the same ‘balance’.
Additionally, I feel as though it is important to work toward that same balance in our schools, we should see that some skills have become less essential (ie. cursive) while others should remain as mainstays (ie. repetitive sight word and math skill work), and while there is room for these things to be integrated into ‘technology’ time, if we are considering the SAMR model, we should be working toward achieving these skills without throwing in technology for the sake of throwing technology in!
Mostly, what I have learned about technology and education or technology and parenting (because I have learned a lot about both of them) is that I don’t think there is one correct way of ‘teaching technology’, I certainly don’t think there is an easy way to answer all of the questions that surround using technology in the classroom, after all, this is still in its infancy really(in the grand scheme of things). What I do believe is important, is that we work to consider ‘both sides’ of the argument/debate, and question or critically consider what we are using technology for before we use it!
Now that all of that is out of the way, please feel free to watch the video that took me out of my comfort zone this semester: