I was thinking about how technology moves about in the field of education today. I realized that this aspect or our profession is constantly developing. As generations move up in age and level of education, they take with them the "old" technology. However, the newest technologies are not being experienced by our youngest students. They are experienced first by our university students it is from there that the technology trickles downward until it reaches primary and secondary schools. Doesn't that seem backwards?

Why is it that more teachers at the lower levels do not get a chance to integrate the latest technologies. I first used an Elmo in college. I first saw a Smartboard in college. I first saw the integration of web-based instruction in college. Unfortunately, many schools are just now seeing these things for the first time.

Anyway...that bothers me.

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Hence the significance of the National Writing Project. I would encourage all of you to enroll in your local chapter. There are 195 across the US. We have 4 in Alabama, so I am sure other states have plenty more. I am the Tech Liaison at mine. Though it is geared towards writing, every content area has some form of writing somewhere in the curriculum. I would encourage all of you to look into it. The program not only teaches you how to incorporate writing, it also helps you construct a workshop of your own. Also, the wp will give you college credit. Here is the link: NWP.ORG

Kevin, aren't you involved with a writing project?
Great points, Kevin. This seems like a forum, waiting to happen.

"We need to find better and more thorough ways of documenting what we are doing.
We need to be finding more ways to showcase to others what we are doing."

Do we want a gathering of showcase items, links to which "outsiders" (and insiders, Classroom 2.0 Folks) can go to see quality kids' work? We'd just need to pool many examples already given, and add some more.

What do you mean by documenting? What purpose are you thinking of?
I would like to take the following sentence from the discussion and comment upon the same:
Why is it that more teachers at the lower levels do not get a chance to integrate the latest technologies
Respected educators of this social network group!
My observation is that technology people (whether at college or university) will get exposure and ideas to implement newer technologies than non-IT people. For example, I saw number of screen captured video tutorials about learning computer packages or computer languages. Why the method of screen capturing and converting presentation files with audio into video or animation files is not popular with people other than computer specialists. In this connection, I request you to read my paper titled " WHAT DO WE DO WITH KNOWLEDGE?" posted in three parts in this discussions forum.
- Seshagiri
Ben, it is my observation that the newest technologies are often the result of experiments that begin in our colleges and then become available to the public.

We invest our research dollars there. Thus, the technologies we need for our youngest students are most often developed from there. (yes, I know, Bill Gates came from... his garage? Google came from... a couple of college students, right?)

The newest technologies don't usually spring up from the head of a kindergarten teacher, who has a more important charge in life perhaps than research and development.

The real issue as I see it is the institution of learning itself. We are now in a time where information is readily available to anyone, and determining one's learning can be a self-directed process. "School" as we know it is being altered as we write these notes among ourselves.

Web 2.0, while encouraging self-directed learning, doesn't fit into an institute with the primary charge of PROTECTING our youngest, and gradually releasing them into a dangerous world. Only when the Web2.0 tools are modified to protect kids are they useful to us.

Colleges don't face the charge of protecting students, since they are considered (almost....) adults (although Virginia Tech gives us pause to think about this). K-12 education answers to parents. The K-12 institution involves much more than learning.

That is why I push protected systems over wide-open, audience-is-the-world, learning environments.

So blogging is an issue UNTIL it is a totally protected activity, which flies in the face of open source, wide audience, self-directed learning proponents.

Don't get me wrong. For ME, blogging, podcasting, wikis make sense. For young children? Maybe Learning Communities, or Blogmeister. OR a future product?

Well, I digressed from the original premise. The answer I give mostly is that our youngest charges must be protected, and new technologies, often born in the higher ed research labs, don't start with (nor rarely consider) that as a basic premise. So Blogger needs to be repurposed first by Dave W. into Blogmeister. Wikis must allow for restricted membership and so on.

Tools like Angel, Blackboard, Moodle, and other Course Management Systems make more sense to me just now since they can offer many of the capabilities of Web2.0 tools without the danger. They scale, and offer a paradigm (the classroom) that the present insitution can work within as we await more protected tools/environments. The protections we need come at a cost, and even the above course management systems need to be modified for lower elementary schools. I think we should watch for that to happen and watch for the inclusion of Web2.0-type tools into those systems.

(Blackboard with LearningObjects tools makes great sense to me!)

I see part of the problem being a University (higher education) and k-12 divide. There are no longer many "teaching schools" where the public schools are attached directly to universities. Now I feel that most faculty at univsersities view public school teachers with contempt. University punits talk to us PS teachers via books and overpriced professional development sessions. There needs to be practical research based technology integration. This will most effectively happen with universities working directly with k-12 schools. Profs need to come into schools to not just do a 2 hr seminar and leave, but work with teachers and technology over looonnggg periods of time.
I know for me, personally, the problem is training. There's no divide between grade levels..just between those who know and those who don't. I, myself, am completely self taught. In fact, many things I began doing this year, I just learned about this year. My co-teacher and are sort of are leading the way in our school.

In the meantime, I read these messages, see things in them that people are doing, and want desperately to learn about them and bring them to my classroom. And, eventually, I will.

Now, what happens to the teachers (k-12, college, etc.) who love the ideas but don't know how to learn themselves...they aren't comfortable enough with technology to play and mess up? Where do they go? Oh yeah...to me.

I would love for a university to come into my school and work with us to begin using all the Web 2.0 things out there now. It's tiring doing it all alone.

But, like Kevin, I'm not depressed. Just frustrated by the lack of help. And glad to be here to find other people doing what I want to do.
Hi All,
I love reading these threads because it's encouraging to see others exploring and discovering how to use the Web 2.0 tools in our classrooms. We are the pioneers, and it takes a lot of energy, courage and commitment!! I've found that my enthusiasm has trickled down to other teachers, slowly but surely, but it's taken a lot of time and energy. I wish we had more professional development, but the bottom line is that we are the ones who understand the effect that technology will have in education. Until the administration gets it, it will remain up to us to learn it and pass it on. I've posted my webpage before. It contains all the web 2.0 tools, blogs, wiki, nings that I've discovered on my personal journey to integrate web 2.0 into my k-4 classes. There are a lot of great resources out there. (unfortunately, not enough time to explore all of them!) We should make a forum of successful activities that we've tried so that we don't all have to reinvent the wheel. Although, there are many great resources on my website. There are several wikis brimming with tried and true ideas. Here's my website: http://sites.google.com/site/faithsfiles/. Thanks again for all of your posts. I love reading this forum!
Faith - K-4 - Computer Lab Teacher in Chicago
Dan, I feel that we can use many of the web 2.0 tools wisely with young children (not all of them!) An important part of the process is teaching our children not to post personal, revealing information. It's important for us to try out the programs first, but there are many programs that can be adapted for our kids with anonymous logins, and dummy email addresses. Many of the web 2.0 tools offer educational sections (ie glogster, voicethread, classblogmeister!) When I tried Shelfari, though, I found that they sent my kids suggestions of books to read based on what they posted...so we scrapped that tool quickly. It was a good learning experience for all of us without any damage, and I was able to explain to the kids why we nixed the program. I think you have to find programs that don't link you to outside links. Word of mouth thru Twitter and this forum helps us know which tools are tried and true.



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