1. The Good
What a marvelous digital world for students today. They have access to the world through the digital world. Instant news, instant analysis, instant history ... print, pictures, films, video ... instant communication around the world. Classrooms are wherever you are ... classes in the U. S. meeting jointly with classes in China or any other country. Classroom assignments enriched by Word and PowerPoint type programs. Assignments that can be animated, photo-shopped, special effects, sound, etc. Guest lecturers from anywhere. Online assessments, instruction, evaluation, college classes. They can make video, share, react, etc. I did my dissertation on a KayPro 1 in CP/M with a WordStar template ... not even in MS DOS. It had twin floppy disks ... no hard disk (ah, the dreaded B-DOS error that lost everything!) Can't tell you how many Chapters I had to retype and retype. Anyway, how the world has changed! The videos that you have showed us so far really demonstrate the potential for media and I think we all can integrate media in small, creative, inspiring ways.
2. The Bad (if you think so.)
Well, cellphones seems to top the list ... text, text, text. There are two current philosophies: suppress and get rid of them at all costs, and integrate them into the digital classroom in any way possible. Right now, the first is the most dominant. However, the phone companies (particularly ATT) are researching ways to support the use of cellphones in the classroom. It is working well in some areas and some schools, but not in others. The secret is an instructional design with ties up the phone and reduces the margin for texting or other abuse. A challenge. Personally, I am for use in the classroom. Anything else promotes abuse. The successes I have seen have been all at schools with MONEY (actual budget or special program funding) and college oriented students.) At a school like mine ... poor with poor performance ... such research and experimentation will never happen.
3. The ugly
The major ugly is cyber-bullying. We all were shocked by the suicide this past year from cyber-bullying. There is really no way to eliminate it completely. Some kid will do it some where at some time. We can only educate, educate, educate and pray for self-regulation and getting kids to report it (there is always a digital trail to follow). I see some kids just lost in the cyber world. They play games all night long at home and text all day in class (when not asleep). What a challenge for teachers. Parents, of course, are the key and ... I don't see much, if any, support from the vast majority of parents. Many, I think, are glad their kids are cyber occupied. The cyber world has joined the school system as the parents baby-sitters of choice.
4. Challenges for Teachers.
Well, it would be easy to say that teachers must stay ahead of the technology and integrate it into their teaching and classrooms. Is that impossible or what! I had a teach tell me the other day, "As soon as I can get the kids to pass the high stakes test, then I can think about technology and media." (I think we are rats on a treadmill on this one.) Sorry, that was pessimistic. I don't even own a cellphone and don't plan on getting one ... ever (well, maybe one day ... for safety and security don't you know! Isn't that the rationale for all parents? (And, I want to be able to call my kid in class to ask him if there is something he needs from the store. :))(.
Hello to fellow RDED 535 students. Let's have a fun summer!