March 28, 2011

21st Century Learning....I love new toys!!!!

     I have always been a big fan of using technology.  While I started as a Mac guy, in my travels to various districts I have had the chance to enjoy both PC and Mac and while I have a preference, both machines can do great things and the key is - kids love using both of these machines as well and they may very well need to learn to use either.  What is obvious to all except the most stubborn of Old Schoolers and traditionalists, which are still extolling the greatness of things like reading by candlelight and the great audio of AM radio, is that the digital environment is here to stay and all we can do is hang on for the ride.  Don't feel frustrated that your cell phone is outdated even before you buy it or that a laptop is only cool for about 6 months.  These are just tools to access the digital content that is out there for us all to access.  That being said I was so excited to get my new iPad that I could barely contain myself.  I have been showing it off, using it everywhere I could (and I am finding that is almost anywhere in any situation) and trying not to bankrupt my online account as I purchase cool app after cool app.  There is so much you can do with it, and I am really wanting to get this tool into kids hands, except my own kids....just kidding, I do share it with them.  However my daughter is on a reading obsession right now with the Warriors series by Erin Hunter and I cannot afford to buy that many books nor will I share my iPad as often as she has been reading.  So I drop her off at the Library while I play with the iThoughts app in the parking lot or read the iBook version of Ken Robinson's The Element.  I have been fortunate enough to fall in with a district that is also supportive of the belief that we need to prepare kids for the future by gettting them using technology now.  We are looking at updating our practices as well as our policies if they are not in line with that vision.

     I hope we can find a way to provide these new tools to our students in the future, but in the meantime we will do our best to integrate them into the classroom as much as possible and try to maximize the tools we do have in our building and classrooms.  And I, well, I will keep buying those toys I love and make sure that I stay on the cutting edge so at least I can inform staff of all they can do with the new toys once we have the funds to provide them for our students.  (Don't tell my wife but I have already started saving for the iPad2).

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