“There can be infinite uses of the computer and of new age technology, but if teachers themselves are not able to bring it into the classroom and make it work, then it fails.” _Nancy Kassebaum
Power Tools for Educators. This is the name of the class for which I am creating this blog. So what does it mean? What are “power tools”? How can these “power tools” be used in the classroom? How can technology be a teaching and/or learning resource? And, why should we as pre-service teachers learn about technology and use it in our classrooms? These are the questions that I have been wondering about since I signed up for this class.
It has now been two weeks since class has begun, and as I muddle through the readings and online assignments, I have discovered a few answers to my questions. I am starting to understand the term “Power Tools” and all that it entails….techy gadgets and devices, apps, widgets, RSS feeds, blogs, online portals, digital books, wikispaces, etc. These are all resources that can enrich the learning experience and bring meaning to content that may otherwise remain matte. Technology is being used in our graduate course more and more, so I am seeing through example how to incorporate these ideas into my own classroom in the future. I am exploring, experimenting, discovering, and making mistakes left and right. Yet, through this class I am learning more about the power tools I can use in my own classroom, how to use them, and the impact that technology’s presence has in the classroom. I’m trying to keep my head above water learning the content but also about the new language and vocabulary that exists within the technology world. Although I do not claim to be extremely tech-savvy before this class, I did feel that I was fairly ‘up-to-date’ with technology. I had a Facebook, a twitter, a Pinterest page, a LinkedIn page, and several gmail addresses…but this is only scratching the surface when it comes to ways I can use technology.
There is so much more to discover:
- Currently, I am still working on understanding the RSS feed and the things I want to follow. What do I want to read? Who should I follow? What can I follow? There seems to be an infinite number of options, how do I select only a handful?
- I am learning how to customize this blog. I’ve had blogs before, but have never had one for academic purposes. I wonder what should I share? How much do I share? What direction do I want my blog to go? Should I be writing in academic language, or can I express myself with a relaxed style of writing? Who is my audience? And even down to the little things….what color font do I want? Can I remember the CSS and coding I did back in undergrad for my web design class?
Obviously I have more I want to work on, but those are two of my priorities. I find the internet to be an excellent resource with endless possibilities, but at the same time, it has endless possibilities!
Technology can be extremely inspiring, motivating, and enriching, while at the same time be overwhelming and extremely distracting.
Through my journey in Power Tools, I hope to find the answers to all of my questions either in class or in my own explorations… More importantly though, I also must try to figure out where the line is between finding the proper resources and learning how to use all their features, and being completely distracted and lost in the deep sea of the World Wide Web and 2.0 Technologies. Learning how to use it and why to use it, as pre-service teachers, is vital.