Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The myth of the digital native

Source: Anthony22 at en.wikipedia

I had some interesting interactions with my students today. In several of my classes they did a crowdsourcing activity to gain background knowledge on different topics quickly. One student began his search by going to Bing, typing in "Google" in the search bar, clicking on the first result and then entering his search criteria when he finally got to Google. Many students wrote the question I had asked them in the search bar, worded in just the way I had asked them (but in English), instead of using keywords. Another student was convinced that the website she had found had no information, because she did not scroll down to see the table of contents, and the first hyperlink on the page led to an unrelated topic. In my 1:1 iPad class, both the students and I struggled with hiccups in document workflow on Showbie (see my post about the usually seamless app here). In all of these classes, I was not able to maintain speaking only Spanish as we troubleshooted these issues, and I know other content was sacrificed today due to the inefficient way that the technology was being used. It makes me wonder: In a 21st-century classroom, how can technology support learning, rather than get in the way? And how can teachers and administrators make sure that students know how to use technology effectively?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Adventures in apps

It's been a while since I published my last post--health, holidays and midterms all have taken a toll on my blog writing lately. But now that midterms are mostly behind me, I'm ready to focus on second semester, and I'm excited to explore a couple of promising new apps.