My own progression with technology. How has it changed the way I learn and shaped my professional practice?
I’m still very much a beginner in using digital technology for all my professional practice. I find that some technologies are easier to use frequently – probably because I am used to them and have come to depend on them. A bit like learning anything new – the more you understand it and find success with it the more likely you will use it! I will use Evernote, Diigo, Blogs, Youtube and Facebook regularly. Other tools I will use more regularly as I get familiar with them and find them useful.
I think these tools have allowed me to become more organised. I know where to find information I am interested in. Using too many tools could have the opposite effect – too many places to look to find information.
My feelings about the impact of technology on us as citizens
As a Teacher Librarian I see digital technology overtaking libraries. Students want to look for most of their research information online instead of using hardcopy. Ease and speed is most important. They are not interested (or sometimes able) to plow their way through indexes and search for materials on the shelves. Students still want to borrow books if they are avid readers, as books are still more appealing to many people than using their iphone, e-reader or ipad. The older citizens seem to have taken to e-readers as they can pack a 100 books on to them and spend their holidays enjoying reading without the heavy lugging of books. We love being able to pay bills and buy things online and online business has created a whole new way of getting goods and services easily and rapidly from anywhere. With access to internet we have lost our privacy – anyone with an online profile can be tracked down. The most important thing for us to learn is to make sure we behave ethically and responsibly online and ensure we take care to use security settings on sites we access.
My thoughts about the use of technology in learning and the role educators play in modelling the use of technology
One of the major concerns I have is the need to use technology to enhance and deepen the learning experience, not just because it is a cute fun tool. We, as teachers need to lead the way in the using digital tools to add depth and understanding to the subjects we teach. The right tools for the job. There is no point in using every tool – fewer tools and the appropriate ones are more effective. In many situations students will be ahead of teachers in using technology, but not maybe in using it for deeper learning – teachers hopefully have some advantages in having more depth of knowledge and life experience!
On the subject of students, I asked a year 10 student about his online social networking habits. He said he wasn’t worried about protecting his privacy and didn’t differentiate between personal and educational use of his social network. He used Facebook and mobile phone for this, not Twitter. I think this attitude is quite common for adolescents.
How technology can be used to support your chosen 5 characteristics of an effective learner
Deeply investigative: using the right tools to look more deeply (and widely) at subjects. Information gathering software such as Evernote, Diigo and ScoopIt would be useful to control the mass of information.
Creative: using technologies to look at subjects in a new or different way. Wordl, Paint and Movie and YouTube video making programs add another dimension to creativity.
Curious: use digital technology to widen curiosity and ask more questions in subject areas. Evernote, Diigo, ScoopIt and Pinterest would be useful for gathering all information you are interested in in one place.
Persistent: learning to use appropriate tools well – making them work for you in the subject area. Understanding the depth and breadth of a tool’s use and using it well.
Engaged: finding the right tools to become involved and interested in the subject. Not every tool will be useful or appeal to everyone – finding the right technology will make the difference.
Predictions about how technology will change the way we learn in the future
I think that technology will enable learning to be unlimited by time and space. We will be able to listen to lectures, talk to teachers, find information, get feedback and confer with peers whenever we like. Teachers will take on more of a mentor role to students and the classroom with rows of desks and chairs will become less common. We will be learning outside business and school hours most of the time and at times we want to.