Monday, October 13, 2008

Now on to the Horizon Reports...

Growing up Digital & Participatory Culture

Here I go with my first blog. I more than likely will ramble, but bare with me, as I will try to express my thoughts throughout this.
When looking at the class and the idea of technology and the future while being a leader, I think to myself how we will be processing this as leaders and as consumers. It is not a matter of will we be using technology, it is a matter of how and to what extent? Sure, we want to use technology to the best of our ability and to the best of our benefit, but are we sacrafiving other things? Face to face communicaiton and expression first comes to mind when I think of the negative aspects of the incorporation of too much technology in ones life/profession. On the other hand, I think of the ease in my Outlook syncing with my PDA phone and it remembers ever little detail, meeting or honey-do that I need to do, which I woud have once forgotten. I am sure these ideas of mine are nothing new to this group in my class or the common man/woman, we really contemplate the effects both positive and negative? Do we really take a step back and think of what is good for now maybe isn't good for the future.

Take for instance Atari! Remember great ol' PONG! Yeah we loved it, right? Fast forward to today when we have children who couldn't for the life of them tell you the last time they were outside playing in the good ol' dirt! Ladies and gentlemen, it may seem outlandish, but it is here and it is real. As my step-sons to look out a window as we are on a road trip and they want a tv in the car. Does it make the trip quieter or smoother as the boys are not fighting or bored in teh back seat? Sure it does, but isn't there a loss for what they can see in the world or talk with their family about along the way, YES! Did anyone ever see the Disney movie "WALL-E?" If not take a look, see what too much technology and the use of technology doing too much for us will do. Extreme, yes, but still possible. I could not cite this, nor could I tell you who told me, but I can recall in a casual conversation some few years back a person stating that they had heard that for every technological aparatus we used, we were loosing an est. 14 IQ points. YIKES. Do I necessarily believe it? No, but do I ponder that fact to see what stem of truthfulness may have origionated this rumor? Yes, you bet I do. I think back to when I was little and I had to remember my home phone number and my address and that of my family and friends. Now my PDA phone does it for me. Remember those appointments, I used to track those in my mind and in my day planner, but still I was cognizant of what was going on. Are we robbing Peter to pay Paul? I just don't know. In closure to this vent, I will move on to the readings and ponder them as well...
When looking at "Digital Age" by John Seely Brown I don't want to come off as a hypocrit from my earlier writings above, but I do think technology is a good thing, it is just a matter of how we use it. Studies are showing that we wer multi-thinkers in that we can do several things as once. Take for instance our students...they can study, fidget and listen to thier Idod, all the while texting on thier phone and myspacing. Are they really learing what they are studying, some say yes, some say no, but I can say they are learning how to faciltate and use many forms of media with which we as adults struggle with. HMMM my friends....HMMM Who is teaching who, right?

The new medium of technology is in deed a great approach to dealing with the diverse levels of intelligence, whether it is visual, abstract, textual, musical, social of kinestic or whatever, there are in need some forms of technology that appeal to one or multiple styles of learning. We are now living in a world where bling and excitement is appealing and now to the point of a requirement to get one involved, egaged or sold on a product or a program. If looking at our classrooms, we think....."man how do we get out students to want to engage in this learning process?" Do we just continue to read from books and lecture, "NO" we have to appeal to them and sell them the product of an education. As leaders we are facing not leading a campus on just learning, but we are facing leading campuses on marketing and for a lack of better words, selling of the product of knowledge. Forgive me and I hope that I am not offensive to you as a reader, but it is true. Sure as leaders we can have attendance policies, we have be more social or we can be more strict, but we have to begin to appeal to our audience and how they learn, not force them to adhere to us and how we insist on teaching. The product in our profession is building educated, semi-efficient and resonsible young adults upon graduation, right? Well in order to meet the needs of our superiors (The publie) we need to adapt and adjust to the students and society of the future.
When the article talks about Digital learners they give three aspects of digital learners.
1. Literacy today not only involves text, but also image and screen literacy.
When i think if this point, I tend to agree, as our children are requring more and more stimulation and can learn not only from reading text, but seeing it as well, maybe a little to well. Give them a movie or a video and they are tending to today retain more than if they read. The art of reading just plain text, could become a thing of the past and can even be an art of the past. How many of us write good ol' letters in the mail or send holdiay cards? How many of us use Hallmark greetings through email or send letters the same way? Can we say the pendmanship and letter communicaiton is a dying skill??? HMMM. We as a society and getting so impatient and so are our children. They want more and they want it now. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but are we robbing them of a psychological stage of naievety and innoscence when we expose them to so much so fast? I just don't know. As leaders in addressing this, we need to look at how we appeal learning through the incorporation of progressive technology into our classrooms and on our campuses. We need to see that our staff is keeping up with the trends of technology and incorporating it into thier classrooms. If we fall behind the tech curve, we loose them.
2. "Navigation" may will be the new literacy of the future.
Yes, this is correct. No longer are the days of card catalogs and libarary scouring, but rather using tech to have everything at our fingertips. This is a good thing in our lives and as leaders. We as leaders can access just about anything we want and need and so can our students. The possiblites are endless. As educators we can use this as a means of opening up the learning to a wide aray of subjects and thier depths. I know this is a bit contradcitory to my above indicaiton of laziness and tech doing everything for us, but I believe there is an easy medium. It is all about how we use it, right? Directive exploration is the key.

3. Bias towards action.
Technology is quicker and easier. It is fast and it is ameable to quick adaption and learning. It is forgiveable and unforgiveable, but repair can come quickly. Yes the days of reading manuals are gone, but with technology and it ability to be easy to use and easy to learn, makes it more integrateable within society. Bottom line, we as leaders we need to tap into tech. We need to look at the ease with which it can be used and we need to look at how the learning proces of one through the incorporation of tech is done. If we better understand it, we are better able to incorporate this learning proces in our classrooms and throughout our campuses.

No matter how much or how little tech we use or incorporate in our campuses learnign process, we need to get a better understanding on how and why people are catching this tech way and not looking back. Is it because it is easier? is it because you can secretly learn and make mistakes? is it because it makes lazy people more in touch or is it because it makes an active person more streamline? I just don't know???
PHEEW! A lot for one article and one rambling but now on to "Authentic Learning" by Diane G. Oblinger...