Trepidation

The last few days have been trying, both personally and professionally, and I regret not being as active a participant in discussions as I wanted to be; However, some time away from the echo chamber is always a good thing as it recharges us and points us in a more focused direction.

The schedule of classes I am teaching has truly gone insane over the last few days. I will be teaching 5 different workshops over 8 days, most dealing with Web 2.0 technologies, but some others with Adobe products. Currently I am in the midst of a two-day wiki workshop with middle and elementary teachers. Here is the link to the wiki I am using.

Yesterday was the first day, and I spent most of the time showing them student reactions and the pedagogical advantages of using a wiki with a group of students. The benefit that is most important to me, and which the group echoed, was that of being able to scaffold at an earlier stage, especially with projects. For example, plagiarism is a major problem area for us here, and heading off a potential instance of plagiarism is much easier when you have access to the student work as it is being created on the wiki. That resonated with the my class yesterday immediately.

One thing I find, and I hear several people in the blogosphere talk about this, is that idea of using technology for the sake of using it. Several of the teachers I work with ask questions like: what is different about using this than what I already do?

The answer, usually, is nothing. It’s rare that there is a teacher who sees an application and immediately understands the possibilities it possesses. We often try to take new technologies and use old ideas with them. I can’t fault people for doing that; it is a natural process. We understand and assimilate information into our networks by testing it with things we already know how to do. I understand we are in the early stages of the LOTI adoption scale here, but it is a fine line I am walking between overwhelming people and helping them use some these great applications.

This might seem like a common topic with me, but I want to be sure that I don’t fall off this line.

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