Aug 23, 2008

Digital Students@Analog School videoclip from 2004: Do the sentiments of the students still ring true?

It is the beginning of the school year, the best time of the year to for educators to seriously reflect on the many ways they can play an important role in engaging and inspiring their students.

I learned about the above video today from "Back-to School Tech Ideas for K-5", written by C.C. Long on her Tech Integration in Schools blog, and I thought it was worth sharing. The video was created by several college students in 2004, and can be found on TeacherTube. It is similar in spirit to the videos I included on a post about engaged learning earlier this year.

Here are a few quotes from the students in video:

"We are more visual learners, we use different technologies to express ourselves, we don't use just pen and paper".

"99 % of the teachers do it the old fashioned way of ...sit down, you listen to someone lecture for 40-50 minutes...

"Just lectures, it limits my learning."

"There are several options in expressing yourself and expressing your viewpoints. And I think the university limits that."

"I was given one way, and that was how I had to do it."

"The professor still wants to teach it the same way they learned.."

"I figured I'd have to to write papers, I figured I'd have to do problem sets, but I thought there would be more options."

"It is frustrating, because it doesn't seems that college is accommodating the visual learner"

"Anywhere you go outside of the classroom, the technology is being used. I don't understand why we aren't applying it to class."

"Listen. Sit down and talk with me. Give me a choice to express myself in their class."

"I think it would make it more exciting for them."

"When I become a teacher, I am going to have to learn and assess that students are going to have even more that is accessible to them. And if I don't adapt to that, I'm going to start to lose my students."

My hunch is that many educators still do not feel comfortable keeping up with world of the tech-savvy. To do so takes quite a bit of effort, time, and determination. And frustration. If you've worked in public schools for a while, you know what I mean. Much of the technology that educators have been handed over the years has been teacher-unfriendly.
Things are changing.

It has been six years since CAST and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development created an on-line "how-to" book about technology and the concept of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). This online multimedia book, Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age, still provides a good foundation for teachers who plan to integrate technology into teaching and learning activities to support all learners.

It is exciting to know that many school districts have initiated study groups provide on-line resources for their teachers to support the implementation of UDL. . At the university level, the concept of using technology to support universal design for instruction is not as alien as it might have been 10 years ago.

Mindful, reflective use of technology, including interactive multimedia technology, can support multiple means of learning, communication, collaboration, and knowledge sharing among among all learners, no matter what age. In turn, an engaging and meaningful environment for learning can be sustained.

So what now?

If you are an educator, it wouldn't hurt to see what new educational applications have arrived at your school. Volunteer to be the teacher who teaches with the new interactive whiteboard. Sign up for the Wi-Fi laptop cart once a week for a semester. Hunt down the digital video cameras and do a search for where the video editing software might be hiding. Don't let the tech-savvy teacher down the hall hog it all, even if you consider yourself to be a technophobe!

Most importantly, establish a relationship with the technology "go-to" person at your school or university department, and see if it is not too late to order a few new technology tools. Find a few other people who have decided to do more with technology this year. Then sign up for a few workshops before your calendar is filled. There are no guarantees, but you just might have the best school year ever.

If you are new to this blog, do a search for what might interest you. I am sure you will find links to information that will help. Be sure to visit C.C. Long's Tech and Integration blog for specific technology related activities you can implement right away.

For reflection, take the time to watch the video clips on C.C. Long's blog that were used during Thinkfinity training.

For more inspiration, you might enjoy following a few of the links below:

Engaged Learning Revisited: Four videoclips for reflection....

Response to Intervention, Universal Design for Learning: Resources for Implementation

Visual Literacy and Multimedia Literacy Quotes - Odds and Ends PART TWO

Engaged Learning and Social Physics: Phun, an Interactive 2D Physics Sandbox

Updated MegaPost - Resources For All: Interactive Multimedia and Universal Design for Learning

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