September 8, 2008

Crushed, Spread Thin, and Shifted

What do you believe is the connection between information technology and learning?

What do you think is the disconnect between information technology and learning?

These are the questions I'm focusing on in my Information Technology class this week.  We've read Chris Dede, Mark Prensky and Jenny Levine (The Shifted Librarian).   Just to be contrary I'll be bringing up Todd Oppenheimer who expanded this article into the book The Flickering Mind.

I love talking and writing about this stuff so I know this library thing is going to be awesome, but my teaching job is killing me this year, I'm missing my family and my other class is just as fascinating in a, "when m I going to find the time to read all of that?" kind of a way.  I want to be awesome at all of it, but something's got to give.  I'm trying very hard to not let it be my teaching, but just having to try so hard is making me realize that this is not turning out to be my best year ever.

Oh, waa.  Tell me to quit crying.  And let me know what thoughts you have on the questions above.  (Don't worry, I've already done my homework).


shannon said...

well, i haven't done MINE yet. probably start it wednesday. hope that gives me enough time to finish it all.

i don't know how most of y'all do it teaching and going to school full time. i'm glad i took another year off, especially considering i've got the internship looming over me.

i really enjoy most of the stuff we learn, but these sorts of questions sometimes drive me mad. wish me luck.

Teacherninja said...

Good luck, shannon! I finally broke down and decided to recycle plans for my 1st-3rd classes, so now I only have to make new plans for 2nd Math, 4th Math, and 5th. It'll give me a little breathing room, I hope. But you were right to focus on one thing at a time. Wish I could do that. hanks for the comment.

Nancy said...

Hmmm - the first thing that occurs to me is that the connection between information technology and learning has to be made. The problem I've seen is school administrators spending money on some software or technology and then expecting the technology itself to teach the kids. But there are significant human factors that need to be brought into play.

-Is the technology appropriate for the learner's level of comfort with that medium? I see some of the high school ESOL kids put in a computer class because it'll be easy for them, but they're mortified when all their classmates are clicking and typing away, and they've never touched a mouse, never typed on a keyboard. Teachers don't anticipate that at the high school level.

-Is the technology appropriate for the teacher's level of comfort with that medium? Has the teacher received sufficient training?

-Does the teacher believe in the technology and see how the students will make a connection with it?

Good luck trying to juggle everything, and cut yourself some slack. It would be easier if you had a job that you wouldn't mind so much not doing your best at. Well, remind yourself the state is only temporary.

Teacherninja said...

Thanks so much, Nancy for the thoughtful response. I'll definitely be considering all your ideas as we discuss this stuff. And thanks, I am trying to give myself a break. My first step was to put hard edges between school and grad school so I don't have things hanging around and blurring the edges of all the stuff to do (if that makes any sense).

Nancy said...

The topic (technology & learning) is really interesting to me, since it comes up daily in the classes I'm teaching or the classes my Migrant students are taking. I'd love to hear more about what goes on in your class and your own views.

doug0077 said...


Don't neglect The Alliance for Childhood's Fools Gold and TechTonic reports for concerns about technology use with kids.


(Sorry for the late reply.)

Teacherninja said...

Thanks, Doug! Can't wait to dig into those!