Tuesday, September 2, 2014

News from Not the Digital Native

Technology is something that fascinates me.  My mother tells me that I have an amazing grasp of all things technological, yet I suspect that it is a generational envy kind of observation, as I feel the same way about my own children.  In fact, I had to ask my daughter for help in trying to figure out Twitter -- which I've set up and forgotten about at least three times in the last four years.
One of my favorite sources of information at work is the Technology Coach, Sue Miller.  Sue shoots emails out with all sorts of recommendations for integrating technology in the classroom, and I retain and try less than 1% of what she shares.  I often feel that I could be doing something more efficiently, or more technologically, to engage and involve my students on a more meaningful (for them) level.  So Tuesday's prompt in the 30 Day Blogging Challenge  is truly something that I wish I could answer with some defined certainty.  Sadly, that isn't the case.  I'm open to the idea of using technology, I just tend to forget about looking for new opportunities because I am not a digital native.

September 2, 2014

2.  Write of one piece of technology that you'd like to try this year, and why.  

You might also write about what you're hoping to see out of this edtech integration.

Recently, I've seen quite a few postings about the use of Google + and online portfolios.  I trust Google -- partially because Nancy Coleman's husband works there, and Nancy is a person whom I admire, so if Google is good enough for her, why not me?  (Plus, I am fascinated by anyone who can put "Google Party" on her calendar and have people think that Google is a verb, but that's a whole nother musing...)  

http://cnet4.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/2014/01/23/499f4051-83f8-11e3-86d7-14feb5ca9861/c1a33b51799d256bf5d0afa30621016b/google-doodle-newyear.jpg
I suppose my real reason is that it is clear that Google isn't going anywhere anytime soon.  Years ago, I was an "Ask Jeeves" fan -- and suddenly Jeeves was out of a job.  Prior to that, it was Netscape.  I just tossed a paper manual on the futuristic possibilities of THAT.  (Okay, to be fair, I recycled it!)  But Google is different -- it continues to expand at a rate that exceeds my capabilities of understanding.  I have a half-hearted Google+, and I use Googledocs and Drive in my classroom with students, but I am nowhere close to using the full platform of possibilities.  If Google is going to be my "Go To", then I feel like I need to focus and take some time to understand its potential.

Last year I used ooVoo a few times to connect with multiple alumni who joined a conversation happening in one of my gifted classes at the high school.  The video feed was much better than skype, and it didn't drop with 6 people connected.  Google has introduced "Hangout."  So perhaps that's worth exploring, even if it isn't using a truly new skill.
So stay tuned!  I'll report back about the new frontier.  Or, at least, I'll Google Party, just to amuse myself-- and think of Nancy.

#reflectiveteacher