I just spent three days at a teacher's convention... to be more precise, it was a leading and learning conference. I quite enjoyed it for the most part, but it seemed that other than a lot of new catch phrases, not much was new, but then, if the old hasn't been mastered I guess there is no room for anything new. Before it sounds like I am slamming the conference, teaching, and learning, let me make it clear that all teachers are at individual places when it comes to teaching. Some are hip-to-the-scene-daddio as far as technology is concerned, while others are up on cutting edge instructional techniques. However, no two teachers are at exactly the same place, which means that conference's like these are necessary.
What did I take away from this conference? I have decided that technology is the focus I want to make in my classes, specifically podcasts, vodcasts, etc. I have already started and the kids have taken to it like... well, let's just say that they have taken to it.
When I went to school, the big thing for us was being able to watch a video in class, or get handouts that didn't make your fingers turn purple. It has been said that kids today have no clue how blessed they are techologically speaking, but I believe that the same thing was said when I went to school and I don't want to sound like someone I used to make fun of. The truth of the matter is that no matter what kids are doing in school today, the kids of the future will be blessed with even cooler ways of doing the same thing, and someone will most likely say that kids have it easy, and don't get how hard things were for their parents, etc when they only had cellphones, laser printers, smartboards, and HDTV.
I, personally, won't complain. Since some of the things that kids are doing today are much cooler than the things I was doing, and I hated doing what I was doing, then it would be somewhat hippocritical of me to suggest that things were better before, when I would have given my canine teeth to have been able to do some of the cooler things then that are being done now.
At the end of the day, the things kids do in the classroom need to be in line with what they are doing outside the classroom. If teachers and parents aren't teaching them how to use the technology that is at hand then who is?