Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Communication Revolution

For this assignment, our TEAM was required to read and respond to the article, "Which Technologies Will Shape Education in 2008?" written by Dave Nagel. In response to the 2008 Horizon Report, Nagel prompts teachers to consider the fact that there are 6 technology areas that are likely to have a major impact on “the choices of learning-focused organizations within the next five years.” Nagel warns those people who have a vested interest in education: "If you’re a teacher, administrator, parent or student, you need to pay attention!"

The Horizon Report is “a five year qualitative research effort that seeks to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have a large impact on teaching, learning, or creative expression with learning-focused organizations.”

Technology is changing teaching and learning. There has been a big shift in technology since the invention of the web and an even bigger shift since the web has morphed into the Read/Write Web. At the 2008 Celebration of Teaching & Learning Conference, I heard this shift referred to the Communications Revolution, a revolution that many teachers are not fully aware of or fully equipped for.

Will Richardson, a presenter at the conference equated this change to the invention of the printing press; an important change in history that created a new way for people of that time period to communicate and learn. With the Read/Write Web, more people, in fact ANYONE with an internet connection can read, write, and connect online and have many more options for learning once limited by face to face connections.

I consider myself a pretty tech-savvy educator, so I'm going to reflect on how I use some of the technologies mentioned in the Horizon Report for my own professional development and for the benefit of my students. I'm hoping my examples will spark the interest of a teacher who is eager to get his or her toes wet.

  1. Grassroots Video
    1. Personally, before I knew how to edit, I took video clips of my students and uploaded it to the school website for their viewing pleasure. They weren't the best videos, but it was the thought that counted. It made the kids happy to see themselves.
    2. Later, as I became a little more familiar with the technology and applications, I filmed my students, edited their presentations with Microsoft Movie Maker, and uploaded their videos to TeacherTube. Our most recent venture in grassroots video was our American Tall Tale Re-tellings.
  2. Collaboration Webs
    1. My favorite online collaboration tool is the Classroom 2.0 Ning, a social networking site for those interested in Web 2.0 and collaborative technologies in education.
      1. I created a Ning for Special Education Teachers called the Inclusion Revolution: Technology in Special Education.
    2. Another of my favorite online collaboration tools is Twitter. Once you have an established network collaboration is easy.
      1. I often follow my twitter friends into collaborative online presentations in UStream, or into Google Docs/Presentations, or into virtual chat rooms where they are having discussions about educational teachnology.
    3. Recently, in our fifth grade inclusion class we created a Comparing Hemispheres Wiki and used it as a collaborative project with a class of 10 year olds from New Zealand.
  3. Mobile Broadband
    1. Did you know you could use twitter from your mobile phone?
    2. Did you know you could send pictures from your cell phone to the webmaster at school? He/she could post your pics on the school website while you're on a school trip.
    3. Did you know that you could send a text message to google from your cell?
  4. Data Mashups
    1. We're using Google Earth to track our progress on the Interact Simulation: Westward Expansion. We're not only using tracking the locations of our wagon train groups, but we're embedding journal entries and pictures throughout the journey.
    2. As an educator, I like to visit twittermap or twittervision to see who is tweeting from where and how I'm connected or not to them.
  5. Collective Intelligence
    1. I love to save interesting sites to my delicious account and connect with other educators within the delicious system who often have similar interests.
    2. I equally appreciate the collective intelligence I receive from reading the posts on Classroom2.0 or the EduBloggerWorld Ning.
    3. I also appreciate the collective intelligence of the people who choose to leave comments at consumer sites who guide me in making the best purchases.
  6. Social Operating Systems:
    1. You can find me on Classroom 2.0 or Twitter.
I am grateful to my online network for introducing me to all that is constantly new in educational technology and online learning. Being online has improved my own professional development as a teacher to a degree that I never thought possible. It is my goal to share this online world with other teachers to encourage their participation. These online experiences help to fulfill my needs as a lifelong learner and has helped to make me a better teacher.


Karen Kliegman said...

A well-thought out response to the assignment! You are doing an amazing job of modeling the 'communication revolution' for your peers. I agree that one of the main benefits of emerging technologies is the ability to tap the collective intelligence of other educators through social networking.

NJTechTeacher said...

I've been working with computers since graduating from high school. Nothing has ever come as close to this revolution of communication that I've become a part of so recently. I love watching the "products" that come out of your classroom. My students have enjoyed some of your tall tales videos (fifth graders). I think the tie-in of Google Earth to your current project is great too. Thanks for sharing your reflections.