Monday, August 27, 2007

I am afraid!

I often wonder why more teachers aren’t using 21st century technologies with their classes, but then I have a reality check and realize that most teachers have little or no formal training with 21st century technologies or the time to learn them. I was fortunate enough last year to be a part of the 21st Century Learning Initiative through a Microsoft grant tied to the Alabama Best Practices Center and I learned a great deal about these technologies. Unfortunately, we are not participating this year because the 21st Century Initiative lost its Microsoft funding. As for the ABPC meetings they were useful, but not as useful from my perspective as the 21st Century Initiative.

The 21st Century Initiative didn’t really teach me that much at the meetings per se, but it did provide me with an avenue where I could take the initiative and learn on my own. This is what I am all about. I love technology and I love learning. I love thinking of new ways of using technology with my classes and other classes. Last year after school, I would come home and spend hours researching other blogs, wikis, and new free open source software. I hate that the Initiative lost its funding because I believe that a number of schools benefited from the process. That is the thing with Initiatives, they don’t last. This is what scares me about School2.0 and Classroom2.0. How long will these movements stay alive? I hope that both will make it for the long haul, but only time will tell.

Personally, I plan to continue to promote and use 21st century technologies in my classroom while I am a teacher and then later in what ever position I end up in. I also hope that other individuals will also keep the initiative alive. If we don't keep them alive, then who will?

I’m getting a slow start this year due to all of my other endeavors, but I started trying to fix Moodle today for my classes. Also, our new tech staff got it loaded online for my students and I am looking forward to seeing how this works out. Nevertheless, I know that using Moodle in combination with other 21st Century technologies will help my less tech savvy students improve their Spanish skills and their tech skills at the same time. As the old saying goes, it’s like killing two birds with one stone.

As for the really tech savvy students, they are already ahead of the game. However, don’t take my word for it. Go and visit Sheryl N. Beach and read her post “Be afraid...Very afraid.” Maybe, posts like hers will get more individuals involved with these technologies. Nonetheless, it is a very cool post and worth reading!

Warm Regards,

William Bishop (Bill)

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5 Comments:

Blogger CathyGassenheimer said...

Bill, I hope that your principal, a colleague and you will continue to attend the Quarterly Meetings. The first meeting is September 13.

This year, this emphasis will be on 21st Century learning and we're going to make every effort to support and encourage our Network schools in their ongoing use of effective teaching strategies using 21st Century tools. all the best,
Cathy

8:11 AM  
Blogger James said...

I've been an educator for thirty years with M.A degrees in Special Education and Educational Leadership. I think your ideas are great but the problems kids face today need more than technology. Kids need a foundation in principal centered living and need to learn skills that foster life long success.

for more about Jim
Burns http://behavioral-management.com/

12:32 PM  
Blogger WBishop said...

Cathy,

Thanks for stopping by. I don't know if we will be attending this year. We learned a lot last year as a result of the meetings and I wish you all the best with or without us. However, thanks for thinking of us and leaving the comment. Also, keep up the great work. If you need me for anything let me know.

Warm regards,

11:20 PM  
Blogger WBishop said...

Jim,

Thanks for stopping by my blog and being kind enough to leave a comment. At first, I thought you might be Dr. James McGregor Burns the famous tranformational leadership guru, but you're a little too young.I am however impressed by you. Maybe, there is something to a name after all.

Anyway, I know where you are coming from. I am married to a Special Education teacher and I know that students need more than just technology. I do more than just teach with technology. I use it as an aid to add to and advance teaching and learning process. Nevertheless, I am still learning. By the way, I love your latest post about FEAR. That is a great story. Maybe, I will have the opportunity to hear you speak sometime.

Warm Regards,

11:52 PM  
Blogger Durff said...

Moodle? Monday evening at 23:00GMT on the live webcast It's Elementary, James Gates will talk about using moodle in k12. Join us at http://edtechtalk.com/chat and ask in the chatroom for the live stream so you can listen. I found sooo many links this week to k12moodles and they are @http://groups.diigo.com/groups/itselementary
skype me if you have questions

8:57 PM  

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