Thursday, 9 October 2014

Web 2.0 a revisit

About 8 years ago was when I first heard about Web 2.0. I was working full time in a Y7/8 class and was involved in an IT contract. It was great learning and still in it's infancy. I loved learning about wikis and blogs, twitter and delicious. I probably didn't really allow myself to spend the time necessary to learn about them properly myself and I only flirted with using them in the classroom.

Now during Connected Educator Month I am learning anew. Here are my musings after engaging with the Starter Kete.

Web 2.0 is linking people, it's social, it's taught by us. We need to think about ownership, culture.

The technological landscape is changing so quickly.

Students are learning to deal with a world that doesn't even know what they are going to be doing when they graduate. They learn and communicate more through social media than what they get from the text books they are required to have.

Students need to be taught how to build a Personal Learning Network, practice finding valid websites, learn how to assess and validate information.

Google Scholar?

There are so many ways to engage with learning in this world. In our work world academic achievement is valued and qualifications required. How are these online learning tools represented to employers? How are they proven? or How is this going to change?

Educator as learning architect, modeler, connected learning incubator, learning concierge, change agent, network sherpa, synthesizer.

Along the way I've connected via Google Hang Outs (which I've discovered GHO is used for on twitter). I've blogged, chatted on twitter and leapt all around the internet looking up websites, wikis and blogs to find information about various teaching strategies or pedagogies. All in all I think my brain is about to explode. Thank goodness for Google Keep and Dos!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Connected Educators Month 2014

Once I would have considered myself to be quite on top of progress in the IT world. I kept up with changes and innovations and worked hard to introduce them to the students I worked with. I loved the time we could get in the computer suite. It was exciting to see students push the boundaries and try new things. Their creativity never ceased to amaze me.

Every year I would start the year by telling the students that it was their job to challenge themselves, try new things and have fun. If they thought it could be done with a computer then it could be and if we didn't know how and couldn't find help easily then it was their job to come up with a way to do it. Some accepted the challenge and I remember seeing amazing animation made using PowerPoint and discoveries on how to use green screen technologies. There were many wonderful moments of joy and some other very frustrating times.

I didn't realise how much not being in a classroom full time would impact on my interaction with technology nor how out of touch I had become until Connected Educator Month. I have to admit that getting back 'into the IT groove' is a little overwhelming. Throughout this first week I have re-engaged with twitter and attended online workshops (though my obvious lack of knowledge meant that I missed the launch and first workshop I was interested in). 

I am really grateful to the people who are involved for their commitment and support as I learn to connect and use the tools of a Connected Educator. I would encourage anyone to take a look a tools on offer and learn how to connect with educators around the world and take advantage of the wealth of expertise they are offering. Not just in strategies and tools to use but also in encouragement and inspiration, for keeping the thrill of working with children and the possibilities alive.

A good place to start for the novice is the Starter Kete!

Again, thanks to the many people who have worked so hard to put this together.