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.
- Grassroots Video
- 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.
- 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.
- Collaboration Webs
- 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.
- I created a Ning for Special Education Teachers called the Inclusion Revolution: Technology in Special Education.
- Another of my favorite online collaboration tools is Twitter. Once you have an established network collaboration is easy.
- 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.
- 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.
- Mobile Broadband
- Did you know you could use twitter from your mobile phone?
- 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.
- Did you know that you could send a text message to google from your cell?
- Data Mashups
- 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.
- 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.
- Collective Intelligence
- I love to save interesting sites to my delicious account and connect with other educators within the delicious system who often have similar interests.
- I equally appreciate the collective intelligence I receive from reading the posts on Classroom2.0 or the EduBloggerWorld Ning.
- 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.
- Social Operating Systems: