muse: n. a source of inspiration

Tech for tech

I read a lot of blog posts and articles where people caution – rant – against technology for technology sake. I’ve always been quick to agree that the cool tool shouldn’t be the bottom line – it needs to be about the learning.

Now I’m a grandmother (which is weird), and I have a three-week old grandson (which is weird). I’m thinking a lot about his life, which is being recorded digitally. Every bit of it, from the ultrasound to the hospital photos to the coming home video to the birth announcement. Even the bris…caught on tape (oy).

I don’t know – can’t even imagine – what kind of world this little guy is going to grow up in. But I can guess that technology is going to play a role.

I can only guess at what kind of skills he’ll need.

I was chatting with a friend after his birth. His name is a little unusual and I remarked that he’ll never find pencils with his name preprinted on them (this is my usual barometer for whether or not a name is acceptable). My friend correctly observed that it’s entirely likely that my grandson won’t need pencils.

This could be true.

Then what kind of skills will he need?

Probably some that involved using technology.

So…back to whether or not teaching technology for its own sake is acceptable. While I still believe that it’s not just about using the cool tool, I do believe that sometimes using technology for the sake of improving children’s skills in using it would be an acceptable reason.

Which, I suppose, makes it a little about tech for tech’s sake.

Pre-printed pencils be damned.

January 7, 2013 Posted by | What will be | | Leave a comment

Teens are producing digital content

While this should come as no surprise to any of us who work with teens, a new Pew Internet and American Life Project report states that the number of teens who are producing digital content is growing at a significant pace.

What this means is that we really need to shift our thinking about “teaching the web.” Ten years ago our focus was really on teaching students to be web-users. Some of that is still – maybe more – relevant; certainly we still need to teach kids how to be critical information consumers, for instance. But it also indicates that we need to expand our teaching to include digital content as a product, not simply content to be digested.

I’m thinking about our annual film festival. When I started the event, oh 6 or so years ago, kids were still bringing in videos that had been produced using analog cameras. Last year I had no videos. Everything was submitted on DVD. Submissions included videos that had been recorded using camcorders and then edited on the computer as well as animations that had been created entirely digitally.

And, you know, this is with 6th through 8th graders…

So – what do you think? How do we expand our teaching from being web-users to being web-users/producers?

December 20, 2007 Posted by | Technology, What will be | Leave a comment

Envisioning the future

From Nokia…

December 17, 2007 Posted by | What will be | Leave a comment


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