2008 has arrived.

Can you believe the technologies available to support and enable learning today? I’m starting this blog, rather fittingly on the first day of a new year, to chronicle my journey through my M.Ed. degree in Educational Communications and Technology. I have been working in technology for 30 years, but only the last nine in K-12 education. I cannot read or experience enough – fast enough – to quench my thirst for learning about this space.

Some questions that are foremost for me this year:
1. What is the role of parents in a technology-enabled learning environment? Has or will technology continue to change their role?
2. Do we worry too much? That is, about the security of the online environment for kids? Or the reliability of the environment for the users?

I will come back to these questions, and add others, over the course of the year.

And, snagging an idea from another, I’m going to try to complete a 2008/366 project – taking a picture on every day of the year. I’m just loading Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 on my Mac and I want to put it to good use!

Happy New Year!

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2 Responses

  1. Welcome Cindy. I’m really excited that you setup this blog already. The edublogosphere can be an amazing context for learning, the network is strong, knowledgeable, and giving.

    Thanks for getting started. And best of luck on the 2008/366 project. I’m trying my best to stick with it for my own personal learning.

    I’m going to let others have a crack at your other questions first … great questions, and a great place to start.

    Best in 2008,
    Alec

  2. Cindy, welcome to the edublogosphere! You have a great deal of enthusiasm and passion for your job and interests and you are about to begin an exciting journey. I would love to address your questions. My three teenagers have two geeky parents (lucky them!) – one of whom is a teacher who loves educational technology. They are my petri dish. My observation is that the quality of the family relationships is key to whether a technology-enabled environment will become a learning environment or not. I believe there have been some studies to demonstrate this.
    The second question is a very important one – yes, I think there is far too much filtering and blocking going on that is unwarranted and actually harmful to students by preventing them for great opportunities to connect and learn appropriate uses for internet environments and tools. I speak from experience as a classroom teacher who was permitted to use blogging, wikis and skype in my classroom practices and watched my students develop a fantastic skill set in using online tools, experiencing communication appropriately across cultures in collaborative projects and building higher order thinking skills. It saddens me that so many schools who have access to the technology filter out the great opportunities this access affords students. I have asked around and have yet to hear of solid cases of abuse of online social spaces when students have had school access to these environments. Rather, I think we are doing a grave disservice to our students by preventing opportunities to model and teach appropriate uses of online communication during the times when we have access to our students.
    Good luck with your journey and enjoy your classes at USask! I will catch up with you later!

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