EDTC 6433: ISTE4: Technology–From Mimeograph to Digital and Beyond~

Student using computer to edit    EDTC6433: ISTE4 Blog 4

During this module designed to address ISTE NETS for Teachers Standard 4 – Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility,  the emphasis has been on broadening students’ perspectives to include their responsibilities in an evolving digital culture and to ensure appropriate modeling of legal and ethical behavior by the professionals in their midst. The original question I proposed was, How can I encourage my students to use technology to the greatest extent possible for their needs and to do so appropriately and wisely?

As educators, our roles do not remain static. On the contrary, we must not only adjust to the needs of our individual students, but also to the ever-changing needs in our society. When I first began to teach in the early 1980s (long before many of my colleagues in this class were born!), the newly obsolete technology at my school was the “mimeograph machine”. (If you do not know what this is, you can be thankful.) Reel to reel, film strip, and overhead projectors were standard items to be checked out from our library and rolled down to the classroom on a cart—and of course, returned by the end of the day. There were no personal computers, CDs or DVDs, and the word “digital” was associated with fingers. Having witnessed the huge technological transformation over the past thirty-plus years and given my interest as a special education teacher, the aspect of Standard 4 I find myself most drawn to is “b. Address the diverse needs of all learners by using learner-centered strategies providing equitable access to appropriate digital tools and resources.” 

At the beginning of this week’s module, I noted one of the concerns I have always had is for those families who do not have even the most basic access to technology. As one option to address this very real issue I shared a resource my school librarian had posted with a phone number on our website regarding information to assist families with obtaining affordable service.

http://www.nkschools.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&ModuleInstanceID=2491&ViewID=047E6BE3-6D87-4130-8424-D8E4E9ED6C2A&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=1866&PageID=5181

While reading Millennial Learners and Net-Savvy Teens? Examining Internet Use among Low-Income Students, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there appears to be less of a difference in internet usage between high and low income students than teachers originally believed (Greenhow, Walker, & Kim, 2009, p. 67). Despite this good news, the authors acknowledged that teachers will need to be mindful of how they might “minimize what still exists as a participation gap” [Jenkins, 2006, p. 13) in level and sophistication and duration of technology and Internet” (p.67).

As one might expect, this “participation gap” can be found among teachers as well as students, and while I am not located as close to the far end of the continuum as some of my “low-tech” colleagues with whom I work, I am competitive enough to want to move further along toward the more “high tech” end. That being said, I do find that my “pre-P.C.” and “pre-web” experience allows me to relate to families who may not have sufficient access. “More” and “most” with regard to families with access reflect that in education we are moving in the right direction, however, for those “relatively few” without access, accommodations must be made to ensure participation. Somehow this reminds me very much of the role of special education teachers in ensuring student access to the general education curriculum….No wonder my focus tends to be on meeting the needs of those who “have not”.

For my students who regularly use internet resources, I must rise to the challenge of helping them to consider the-adult-they-will-become—and to understand the complex and cumulative effect of each keystroke or pressing of the “send” button as well as the responsibility and role they play in the development of both their present and their future opportunities. In light of the fact that much of my work with students is supporting them in completing assignments given by other teachers, I see particular value in encouraging use of editing resources. I agree with a comment shared by a colleague in this course who conveyed that when writing and creating, “students (must) know how to use and reference these tools correctly” (Powell, 2013). She then proceeded to share what I know from personal experience to be an extremely valuable tool, http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2?. Another resource shared by my blog buddy, David Spencer, can be found at: http://www.turnitin.com/ This resource is very helpful in addressing issues surrounding plagiarism. I was pleased to realize I was somewhat familiar with this site, but also, David was very familiar with the resource which I had shared in my original post called Easy Bib http://content.easybib.com/you-are-what-you-write/ This link takes you to a particularly interesting sub section called You are what you write and seems to be very informative, straightforward, and user-friendly. There are numerous links for students and teachers alike.

Owl at Purdue site

Creative Commons photo–Retrieved from:

https://www.google.com/search?as_q=student+using+computer+to+edit+writing&tbs=sur:fmc&biw=1689&bih=703&sei=Lkw0Ua2sDemMiALqvoDoCQ&tbm=isch

Greenhow, Walker, & Kim (2009) Millennial Learners and Net-Savvy Teens? Examining Internet Use among Low-Income Students, Journal of Computing in Teacher Education, Vol. 26, Number 2, Winter 2009-10.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by David Spencer on March 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Great post. This last week I have been considering the fact that recent brain research shows that the judgment and reasoning portion of the front (the frontal lobe) is not developed in most people until the ages of 26-28. In light of this it is a large task to ask our students to think “long term” about their digital identity and the repercussions of their digital identity.

    Reply

    • I agree with you, David. It is indeed fascinating to watch the changes in thinking that emerge beyond the teenage years. As a mom, I especially notice this with my own children. My two daughters are ten years apart–ages 17 and 27. I especially enjoy conversations with my older daughter as we together reflect back on when she was 17 and smile as we together help her younger sister navigate through these teenage years. Generally, the insights shared in our three-way interactions are positive, and I am grateful. And then there is the perspective of my son, now 21, as he is in the midst of setting his course for the future. What is most heartening is that my older daughter, now herself a mother of three, comments on “taking notes” as she and her husband participate in the daily process of raising their son and two daughters.
      Just as I was working on this post, my youngest daughter brought pictures to show me for a project in her human biology class. The pictures, taken by her lab partner, showed my daughter dissecting the brain of a sheep! My daughter then elaborated on what she is learning in both her human biology class as well as her lifespan psychology. As you might imagine, she is learning all about the latest brain research and is eager to share. I am delighted to see her learning so much and gaining insights that will help each of our family members as we transition through the various stages in our lives! (Last week, she was sharing with my husband and I what her professor taught them about common dynamics for “middle age” individuals!)
      Laurie~

      Reply

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