Quite Amazed

I was quite amazed after this first online course and seeing how far technology has evolved since I took ECMP 355. Some of the tools we got to examine were delicious, google reader, worpress, and google docs. These may seem like such minimal things in the world of technology to some, but compared to when I took ECMP 355, which was only 2 years ago, it has made using technology more accessable.

When I was in ECMP 355 we used bluedot, some other blog follower — how sad is it that I don’t remember the name, and we had to make our own webpage using dreamweaver. Just one semester after that all of the programs changed.I am quite amazed with the change because for my e-portfolio in particular, all of time consuming work is already complete, so now I can really focus on the content.

I am also quite amazed with the whole google system, in that, with one google account you have access to so many resources! Being able to share google docs with students is going to / has changed the future of Language Arts Programs in schools. I have not witnessed it yet, but I am looking forward to using something like this in my future classroom.

I can see why many people who did not grow up in the technology age are resistant to learning new things in technology because it is such a fast paced ‘environment’.

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14 thoughts on “Quite Amazed

  1. Penny says:

    Kristina,

    You are so right that the tools change so quickly. What was an arduous process a few years ago is now as easy as using word processor — allowing the “tech” to fade into the background and the content to come to the foreground. It is wonderful that you have noticed that shift so early on in your course.
    While it is exciting to envision these tools in the classroom, it is even more important that you see the utility in them for your own life long learning. It’s the old “put your oxygen mask on first” scenario. The more you feed your own mind with these tools and the connections that they enable, the more energy, passion and wisdom you will have to pass on to your students.
    Best of luck in your studies.

  2. Ian H. says:

    I think you’re probably right about the pace of technological change, but that makes it more important to not make it about the particular tools, but more about the attitude of learning.

  3. Adina Sullivan says:

    Kristina,

    You are absolutely right. The pace of change in the tech/ed tech fields can be completely overwhelming. There are always new tools, resources and sites to check out. Plus, some are popular one year and disappear the next.

    In my opinion, what it comes down to is first figuring out WHY you might use a particular tool or resource. Next, I would say to accept the fact that you will never get to try and/or use all of them. In the classroom, I find it best to try one thing at a time. Slowly, you can put together a set of tools that works for you and one that works well for your students. You’ll make changes over time, but if you know what your are trying to achieve, you’ll be able to roll with the changes in tools and resources as they come. I try to help tech-phobic colleagues do the same. There’s no need to everything all at once.

    Enjoy the ride!

  4. kwhobbes says:

    Welcome to the online world, the blogosphere and all those other interesting things. I’m sure you will find this course to be very enlightening and insightful. With your background in sports and working with children in various capacities, you have a great array of background knowledge to draw upon. My one insight is remember how you felt when being introduced to these tools and how much has changed in two years. That’s every day as an educator! Good luck, bonne chance. Enjoy the course and be a sponge!

  5. Lesley Edwards says:

    Google Docs is indeed a great tool for classroom use. Students who find it hard to meet out of class time can still collaborate. The teacher can view the work in progress instead of leaving all the marking until the final project is turned in. Viewing the revisions list allows the teacher to see who has contributed and what each student has done.
    I also like Zoho as it allows for the creation of separate pages within a project.

  6. Doug Symington says:

    Welcome (back) to the blogosphere!

    It really *is* something to see how quickly tools, and how they are used, continue to evolve on the web. I agree: “the Google” really does have some great tools.

    I’ve been having fun with mobile versions of their applications. Great suite of tools for anyone with a mobile device and a data plan.

    Good luck with your course–sure you’ll have fun and learn lots!

  7. murcha says:

    I did not grow up in the technological age and started my teaching life as a typewriter teacher (I did not know how to type but I quickly taught myself how to) I guess it is the same with the web2.0 tools, I taught myself a lot of them and it has been hard yakka at times. Anyway, I am really passionate about using them. I teach year 12 computer studies (in Australia) and one of the software types studies is that of is web page development. I have taught Dreamweaver for that in the past, but am very tempted to move to building a wiki instead. As to google applications, they are amazing and constantly improving.

  8. Stephen Banks says:

    Hello Kristina,

    You have raised some very key points I think. One, with the speed that applications are changing, how do we as teachers keep up? What lessons do we prepare today that will be outdated in a couple of months? I started the year teaching my class all about Delicious, and now I find that maybe Diigo is a better app…how do you keep up?

    Your second point is also interesting, that being the resistance of some learners to get in the game due to the fast pace. I think that maybe this posting by Technology in the Middle
    ( http://pwoessner.com/2009/01/11/do-you-really-need-a-personal-learning-network/) may have part of the answer/cause? Why move from where you are if you think that the way you have always done ‘it’ still works?

    Enjoy the ride,
    Ciao, Stephen

  9. Aaron Dewald says:

    Hey, I stumbled across your blog from a Tweet from someone I’m following.

    Isn’t the internet cool? Bringing people together who probably never would have – had technology like this ever existed.

    I’d like to comment on your last paragraph. You say, “I can see why many people who did not grow up in the technology age are resistant to learning new things in technology because it is such a fast paced ‘environment’.”

    I agree with you. I’ve just finished reading Clay Shirky’s book “Here Comes Everybody” It’s a great book that sort of follows how social networks and collaboration.. self publishing.. and the wide reach of the internet is affecting the mindset of everything. He makes an awesome point.. waits until the last page, really, to do so.

    The people who didn’t grow up with this technology are at a disadvantage. I’m going to paraphrase, but the idea comes from his book. They are at a disadvantage because they’re getting news from newspapers, phone numbers from the phone book, etc. They have to completely unlearn what is ‘right’ to them. The digital natives, those born after 1980, don’t have the task of forgetting these things. They use cell phones to get news, IM to communicate, have their face plastered all over MySpace and Facebook. They’re used to this.

    I think the older generation, unfortunately, sees how fast things are changing. The natives are used to this frenetic pace.. have no problem jumping from latest to greatest and back. The Digital Immigrants say, “Whoah, I just got used to this email thing, now what’s a Tweet!?”

    We’re slowly trying to deal with this at the Law School I work at. A lot of the older professors are stuck in their ways. It’s difficult to implement any kind of technology because the resistance to it is so high. “I’ve done it this way for over 20 years, I’m fine, thank you.”

    I think I read somewhere (I think) that within education.. some technology can take 15-20 years or so to catch on… because that’s the average length of time a professor is usually in place.

    Interesting stuff!!

  10. Ed Webb says:

    The best technology is virtually invisible. Rather than the clunky old term ‘user-friendliness’ I think what all developers should aspire to is that their applications be transparent. What you have captured above is the accessibility of the new read-write web (aka web2.0 to some). It’s good to know how to use Dreamweaver or Kompozer or similar tools, but it is no longer necessary in order to exploit the connective potential of the internet for educational or any other purposes.

  11. Mavis Hoffman says:

    Isn’t it amazing. Students that I taught in Info Pro 10 two years ago are now in my Info Pro 30 classes can’t believe some of the changes. I can’t imagine what the next two years will be. My students love Google Docs because they don’t have to carry their thumb drives any more and have access to their work anywhere. Great post. You’re going to love all this learning.

  12. Kristy says:

    Kristina,

    Yes, technology change occurs at an amazingly rapid pace. I left my position as a high school teacher in May, 2004. I considered myself to be an avid user of technology within my classroom, and implemented technology into my lesson plans as often as possible.

    Talk about how times have changed! In the five years since I’ve left the classroom, Web 2.0 tools have (in my humble opinion) revolutionized teaching and learning. There are so many free apps out there now. A few years ago you had to pay a ton of money for software that you can now easily find online in some form. And who wants to struggle with Dreamweaver when you can easily create your own site with Weebly or WordPress?

    Students have access to so many resources online. It’s amazing the things they can do and places they can go with just the click of a button on the mouse.

    I think it’s an exciting time to be in education. Although I’m no longer in the classroom, my current position as an Academic Technology Consultant gives me a chance to still influence how students learn. What an exciting field to be in! :- )

  13. Chris Betcher says:

    It is an interesting observation that you have noticed such profound changes in such a short period of time. We often talk about how we are “preparing students for a future that we don’t really know what it will look like”, and your post is an excellent example… here you are, a student looking specifically at some of these technologies, and in the space of 2 years you describe how things have changed so dramatically that many of the things you learned only TWO years ago are already obsolete. As Alvin Toffler observed, the future belongs to those who can learn, unlearn and relearn. Your observations are further evidence that we need to focus less on teaching kids the “what” and focus far more on the bigger issues of the “why” and the “how”.
    Nice post. It was good to chat with your class yesterday too.
    Chris

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