When was the last time you went to a conference and were disappointed after the first few minutes?? Either the person presenting was lacking or maybe the content was not what you expected. Well there is a new way to “attend” a conference with a varied subject matter and you don’t even need to leave your house or classroom! It is the K12 Online Conference. I was first introduced to this online, 2 week, event in 2008 by our Technology Integrator. She hosted a LAN (local area network) party one evening so she could share the conference with everyone. So that evening, you brought a dish to share and choose an online presentation to watch. After everyone had a chance to watch a presentation we got back together (hence the food!) and discussed all the different things we had learned. We were fortunate to have our tech integrator with us because she knew some of the presenters and we were able to Skype with some of the presenters to discuss what we learned. The event was such a huge success that we did it again the next year. The only thing that changed was our tech integrator was working for a different school, so we had a different host!
Today, I choose to watch Googlios: A 21st – Century Approach to Teaching, Learning, & Assessment. G. Alex Ambrose showed how to set up a webpage using the Google tools. It is a pretty easy 3 step process. He then went on to explain the importance of 21st century skills. I think his definitions of digital people were the most telling. See where you fall on the spectrum of digital people:
Digital Natives – these are people who were born after the invention of the web. These are people who have never known a world with our laptops and smartphones.
Digital Immigrants – these are the people who came BG (before Google) but were doing a good job keeping up with the current technology and web tools.
Digital Refugees – these are the people who know about the digital revolution, but are not spending as much time and energy trying to keep up.
Digital Aliens – these are the people who don’t care at all about the digital world.
Mr. Ambrose also spoke about how as the price of technology has come down so dramatically you no longer have the have’s and have not’s. In this day and age you have the willing and the not willing.
Which are you?? Are you willing to take a closer look at what you do in the classroom every day?? Are you willing to re-think how you teach and assess your students?? Are you trying to become a digital Immigrant or a digital Alien??