Monday, May 26, 2008
I use technologies naturally and seamlessly within my day to day life. I love Flickr, my iPod, blogging (though that seems less and less), iTunes, my mobile phone, Skype, Google Earth and Facebook. The list could go on and on and on. I get very frustrated at the hurdles I need to jump over to implement it within my classroom. This is blocked and that is blocked. Something is recommended on a Monday and blocked by Wednesday. Ahhhhhh! I have been blogging since early 2004 and just now, the education dept seems keen to take it on. Social networking is big in the real world but blocked at school... By the time they catch on to that, it'll be a thing of the past too. I don't want to seem like I'm just giving up. I believe you need to be wary and careful with security on the net when dealing with kids but I also believe that is about educating them and their families. Education into safe practice. I also feel it is up to parents and teachers to monitor younger students and their use of the net, even when they are just playing 'games'. I don't think the answer is a blanket ban on a site that may (through a million steps) lead to adult content.
I went to an innovations conference recently. We presented so missed all of the workshops. That didn't matter though as we were lucky enough to listen to the keynote speakers. I was very excited by the prospect of listening to the following teacher...His name is Andrew Douch. Andrew works at a high school in Shepparton and uses all kinds of technologies to enhance his biology classroom. He teaches years 11 and 12 (16-18 year olds) and believes that we have to take advantage of the technologies most of them own such as mobile phones and MP3 players. He creates and broadcasts a popular biology podcast available to anyone through iTunes. Through this resource, anyone in the world can become his student. Andrew also uses Facebook, Skype and MSN to connect with his students. He is available 24 hours a day. This may sound daunting to some but to me it is just exciting. The students understand he has a private life and only contact him when needed. He marks his MSN as away if he is busy but students know that if it indicates available, they are free to chat! I am planning to try some of his ideas within my own classroom so stay posted... Thanks especially to Andrew!