Monday, November 19, 2007

Modeling Use

I was inspired by a couple of blogs that I read this week, just haven't had time to respond to them until tonight. It is important for us as educators to 'practice what we preach.' and this is true for educational technology as well.

If we are working with students with different technologies, then we should be modeling that in our own lives. This idea of modeling the use of technology has never been more evident than when I read Karl Fisch's post the other day about Dan Maas. In his post, Karl explains the Mr. Maas is the CIO of Littleton Public School in Littleton, CO and he has maintained his blog for about a year now. The blog is intended to be an open line of communication with the public. Here is the explanation from the blog:

The LPS Community Conversations Blog, which can be accessed on the home page of the district website, provides yet another way for LPS key decision makers to hear from students, parents, employees, and community members. Periodically, a new topic will be posted, and fellow bloggers are invited to share their thoughts and converse with one another on that topic.

Recently, Mr. Maas had a post about Maine's 1:1 laptop initiative showing that student writing is improving. After he published the post, there were over 20 comments in response. Interesting enough, most of those comments were from the ninth grade class at the Arapahoe High School (in Littleton) who have laptops in their classes and the impact that it has on their own classes. I am very impressed that these students, without an assignment, without prompting, responded to the post by their CIO. It is surely impressive the voice that the students were given, but
the students have clearly benefited not just from the technology they have been given, but from the teaching and modeling that has taken place in their school district starting at the top!

The other post that was encouraging was from Jeff Utecht. In his recent post he posted two projects done by students in his schools using Web 2.0 tools (one is using Voicethread...very cool!). It was encouraging to see students engaged in their projects, not just doing the projects. Jeff was obviously pleased with the results, as he should have been. Talk about enhancing an experience! It is evident that the students truly benefited from the technology they were given, not hindered by it. It was available, it was accessible, it was embedded in their classrooms!

We, as teachers, spend a lot of time with and for our students and sometimes the fruits of our efforts are not immediately evident. In the field of educational technology, it is fun to see positive results from our students and leaders.

No comments: