Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Motivation to Learn - EdTech

I read something Mark Cuban wrote recently that said you can easily find your passion within what you do by what you value with your time.  Since reading that I have been very aware of my time management.  Not that I changed anything, rather, I was just keeping a mental clock on what I valued with my time.  Lesson planning and grading are what they are.  In the other time, when seeking professional fulfillment or development I turned to tech devices and articles, blogs, tweets etc about how technology is impacting and will continue impact (exponentially) the kids we get in our classrooms and how they expect to learn.

There is, naturally, a guarded approach as to how to best incorporate technology in the classroom.  We all ask prospective teachers the technology question in their interview - but what really do we hope to hear as an answer.  What I've been reading and learning seems to suggest that most of those (us) asking the question wouldn't know the best answers even if we did hear them.  I am currently reading The Connected Educator By Sheryl Nussbaum Beach (@snbeach) and Lani Ritter Hall (@lannihall).  This book starts out with a simple yet profound truth - most kids have to "unplug" when they come to school.  Our realm (the schoolhouse) is a place our students have to live a secret life one of lap texts, Internet filters, and "on vibrate."

I am really looking forward to learning some methodology for letting our kids plug in at school.  How do we let them connect at school the way they are connecting in the "real word?"  The information I am reading seems to be pointing to one truth with many approaches, practices, and answers - and that is the World has changed technologically and schools need to.  As much as we stress the necessary skills that we believe our students need in their tool belts for their futures - Core subject skills like Math and Literacy - there is a technological world in which they live now and it is becoming increasingly more complex.  As educators we need to prepare them for this world too by teaching them sound 21st century skills.  As easily as a student can get lost in the text of a classic novel they can get lost in this cyber world that exists.

I cannot wait to meet with other educators attending the Teaching the iGeneration workshop in Dallas this week.  I am curious if I am asking the right questions and who out there has started to answer these questions.

I hope to update this Blog from the conference - we'll see!


  1. I liked the way Cuban looks at how you spend your time as an indicator of what you value. I also thought your observation that kids have to "unplug" to come to school was interesting. School and the real world shouldn't be so disconnected. Schools should find ways to utilize technology to help kids learn core subjects like math and literacy... and that will only happen once teachers enter the cyber world their students inhabit.

  2. Well done, Joe!

    You've taken a huge step to answering your own questions simply by jumping into the conversation -- both here on your blog and on Twitter. You'll learn more about what it means to live in a world where participation is easy simply because you've chosen to participate!

    I think one of the things that helps to center my thinking when it comes to changing our classrooms to be more responsive to today's learner is the notion that our job is to build a bridge between what our kids know and love about technology and what we know and love about learning.

    If we can effectively show them how they can use the social spaces that they've embraced to learn more efficiently and effectively, then we will have done our job.

    Does this make any sense?