This was a big weekend for me. I had spent six weeks preparing for it. We had to give a group technology presentation to our cohort members, and when the assignment was given, I had to admit my fear level went up. I am on the computer a lot, but up to this point had not used it a lot in my teachings in the music room. I am too busy getting kids to play marimba instruments, drums recorder in my 30 minute lessons to add computers into it. So I had a big learning curve.
I met with my group once sometimes twice a week to get out technology project ready. I had to learn how to blog, use xtranormal movie maker, about glogster, photostory, and how to create school community through technology using a NING. I was learning quickly. Even though our NING was created for an example in our presentation, My page became a piece of my identity, and extension of myself. I spent hours learning how to post blogs, create characters, network with other colleagues for problem shooting. I used Twitter to gather ideas from other technology teachers, used FACEBOOK to network with fellow classmates, and used google docs to bring our vision of a school community to life. I was completely immersed for six weeks. I am sure I even was talking in my sleep using phrases like Search-Cube and Wordle. I was passionate about my learning, almost to the point of being over- zealous, which I have been known to be from time to time, and I lost a part of my vision along the way.
The learners of today are of the net generation, and I am not. They are more fluent in the use of the computer and networking than I am. They are connected, independent, open, expressive, and they learn by exploring. It is essential for educators to take that into account as we are teaching them. Students today are not finding the community that they seek and need, in the present educational model, and are finding it online. Anything that you wanted to ever know is on the computer at the push of a button. We as educators need be be innovative with the way we are teaching students today, and as well as keeping current with the technology use for learning. For myself I have passion for what I am doing in spades, and I know need to match it with the demands of our technological environment and language of the new learner in order to keep the passion of learning for them alive. This has really opened my eyes to the learning that I need to to do to be current and relevant for my students, and I plan to edit my professional platform to incorporate technology professional development, as well as develop a plan in which I incorporate technology into my teaching, and my music room.
This masters program is coming to a close in the next couple of months. The transformation that has happened inside of me is extraordinary. My passion for learning is alive, and the possibilities seem endless. And to think it all started with throwing a rock in the water. Thanks Doug, for throwing it in.