As an Educational Technology Specialist I promote the use of technology in education. Technology and learning go hand in hand, and as a Technology Specialist I need to make learning with technology as interesting for teachers and students. Mr. Homeycutt mentioned that, " Rather than focusing on what we CAN’T do, let’s focus on what we CAN do no matter what our budget is. The “killer app” for the 21st century is “to learn to love to learn.” He had some great ideas on implementing project-based learning into the classroom, an allowing students to really discover their own education. This was an inspiring talk. As an educators we need to teach our students how to learn to love to learn.
The second K12 Online conference session that I attended was Digital ID Project a Platform for Learning, Sharing Remixing, and Teaching Digital Citizenship by Gail Desler and Natalie Bernascon. This presentation talked about digital citizenship. The question was asked, "Who responsibility is it to teach digital citizenship?" The answer was, everyone's; the classroom teacher's, the parent's, the liberians', and anyone else using computers to work with students. The students of today are the first generation who have grown up as "Digital Natives." The Internet has always been available to the students of today.
This session applies to my current teaching assignment in many ways. I teach teachers how to teach digital citizenship to their students. I teach teachers how to teach about cyber bullying, digital footprints, appropriate online behavior, respecting others, safety and privacy. Gail Desler and Natalie Bernascon have launched and digital ID Project that provides educators with a reliable toolkit for teaching digital citizenship. This looks pretty interesting, I may have to check it. This program may be beneficial in many ways.
The third K12 Online conference session that I attended was A Digital Journey with Primary Students and No Budget, by Karyn Keenan. Karyn shared how she connects students with free digital tools. Wh talked about how her Kindergarteners Skyped with a first grade class. Karen mentions how educators are able to take students on a digital journey without a budget. Karen tells how to set up a Donors Choose account, for teachers who don't have direct access to technology. Karyn talks about why teachers should blog with your students. She also shows how to set up blogs on Kidblog and get your kids blogging and commenting.
This session applies to my current teaching position, because I teach teachers how to use both Donors Choose and Kidblog. This would be a great reference for teachers. This session offers a first hand account about why students should blog. I love Kidblog. This is free, and by using this program teachers and students quickly realize that blogging is worth their time. Students learn that others can read what they write, so students take their time and think before they write.
The fourth K12 Online conference session that I attended was the keynote session by Karen Fasimpaur, Visioning New Curriculum.
This session discussed the Common Core. Most states across the country have adapted the Common Core. With this there is a great opportunity to incorporate digital tools, openness, and innovation. With this we can create deeper learning. Teachers and learners could collaborate with digital openness and learn from others. Collaboration is the key, and is very powerful when we all work together. With a digital and open curriculum learners can take ownership and learn collaboratively.
This session applies to my current teaching position in numerous ways. I am an educator and the adoption of the Common Core presents many challenges, and many rewards. With the integration digital tools the possibilities are endless. There are endless possibilities for collaboration amongst teachers and students. I am excited to be in education during a time when things are changing, and technology is going hand in hand with that change.