Supporting the digital Citizen 2010 Conference
Recently I attended the technology conference: "Supporting the Digital Citizen". This is my second year in attendance. I do agree that today technology offers a wealth of opportunity for learning. Everyone is drawn to the digital world in one form or another; no one is immune. It is important that educators reflect on ways to enhance their curriculum through the use of technology because it is unavoidable so it is “better to join the party than to ignore it.”
The Keynote speaker Dr. Tim Tyson spoke of his experiences with technology. Although what he spoke about was not new to me, I viewed him as a motivational speaker; I was encouraged that what I am doing in the classroom is good and not useless. That the ways I am using cameras, computers and video cameras in my classroom are technologies that in some shape or form, are maximizing interest and achievement. His speech reinforced my resolve to continue what I am doing and to continue to empower my students to choose to learn. Using some form of technology as an alternative to handwritten assignments would be considered, “differentiated instruction”.
The students that I teach go forward with tools and skills that they did not have prior to entering my class. Yet, I always felt that I could do more but did not know how to realize what I wished to do. But once I attended the break out session at the conference, I got an idea to further help students create in an environment other than my classroom. I attended “Creating a Digital Diary”. At this session I learned about the role of a Tech Crew. Simply put, they are a group of students that are given the ability to show interest in some aspect of technology and to also be mentors to other students. Learning new software, filming and editing are some examples of what these students would be responsible for. Most importantly, they would assist me with setting up equipment when other teachers require it.
Will I want to undertake such a project? Yes. I wish to be a small factor in helping to prepare students for the future demands of the workforce. This small group of students would definitely be able to mentor students within their own classrooms and such a system would cascade knowledge to more than a small group of students within a few classrooms. The school community would benefit.