The fast paced, ever-changing world of technology has impacted education in ways that are often difficult to comprehend. This article will highlight various types of technology and educational applications used at Morris Community High School.
This piece comes to us courtesy of Education Nation's The Learning Curve blog. Social Media Explorer CEO Jason Falls writes. He is also a member of the board of directors of the National Center for Family Literacy
Avoiding -- or worse, banning -- social media platforms for students prohibits them from being successful professionals in fields like accounting, chemistry, the arts and more.
Why so declarative? Because social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs) have become the fabric of how the world communicates. Yes, traditional methods of connecting and collaborating still exist -- you can still pick up the phone or write a letter -- but you can also route messages or share ideas with clients, colleagues, vendors and others using collaboration platforms, social networks, wikis and more.
In today's business environment, someone lacking not just an understanding but a working knowledge of social media and social networking tools is at a competitive disadvantage. Not preparing our young people - whether in elementary, secondary or post-secondary education environments - to not only have but also excel with these skills means we are failing in our mission as educators.
Social media and smartphone-based learning help typically shy students find their voice.
“While the kids are reading novels, watching movies or listening to podcasts, there’s this awesome discussion taking place without anyone saying a word,” Gianotti says. “Students who are typically quiet during traditional discussions really like Celly, because it levels the playing field for them. It’s totally transformed my classroom.”
Fellow Lowell High School English/language arts teacher Kevin Deal uses Twitter in a similar fashion. Deal writes hashtags on the board that address the themes of the day’s lesson; his students then use the hashtags to track their conversations on the microblog, both with other students and the larger Twitter universe.
Technology is transforming education today, and it will continue to do so tomorrow. Most of these changes are positive, and the wise use of technological advances will improve education for some time to come.
"In short, my most important reading is social. If I had been reading on my tablet, I would have highlighted the passage and shared it and the link to the story on either my Facebook or Twitter accounts, or both. But, as it was, I kept reading, and I didn't share the story. This meant I did not have a record of the link or the interesting passage, nor did I have any enlightening discussions with my friends and followers about the story. No record, no notes, no conversation: it was pleasure reading at its most basic, simply killing time until we hit 10,000 feet and I could get back to work.
Of course, most of us first experience reading as a social activity. Whether having stories read to us as children or the collective reading that characterizes early reading instruction, reading begins as a social experience. It is only as we grow older that reading becomes a private, individual activity, one often divorced from contact with others. There are certainly many avenues of social reading that exist prior to digital networking—book clubs come immediately to mind—but the pervasive nature of digital technologies has the potential to transform all of our reading into a social experience."
"20 years of computers as a publishing tool has not necessarily improved the standard of students’ writing skills. The key words in that last sentence are of course publishing and writing. For too long we have seen the computer purely as a publishing tool. For me, the computer is far more effective as a writing tool."