Sunday, January 10, 2010

The view from the front of the bus

Through a Twitter post today from my PLN, I discovered this blog post from Douglas McGuirk about Twitter and Education. Douglas starts his post in the following way:
Every time a new technology comes along, the responses (in the education world) to it seem to fall into the following categories:

a). excitement
b). complaints about how the old way was "better"
c). avoidance of the technology and refusal to acknowledge its existence, in the hope it just goes away.

People in group A look for ways to incorporate this new technology into their classes as soon as possible, often to the trepidation of superiors and colleagues who may not fully understand this new advance. People in group B generally have little to add to the discussion about this technology; they usually just want to complain about how much things have changed and how teaching was better years ago, etc. People in group C are generally aware of the new technology, and may understand that it might have positive uses, but, primarily due to their own inability to understand how to use this technology, just want to hope it goes away.
He goes on to look at how the iPod Touch or the iPhone can be seen as a nuisance by some teachers, or devices that have immense educational value by others. The "big idea" behind this blog post, however, is that he discusses how Twitter can be used on students' phones - for example teachers could post homework assignments that could be viewed by both students and parents, or a student could be given the task taking notes and tweeting the main ideas of a lesson - summarizing the lesson for everyone, including those students who are absent. His conclusion goes back to the 3 groups of teachers mentioned above - the Group A teachers who are always trying to be at the forefront of education and doing things that are new and exciting:
Group A is like the front of the bus. You have the best view of what's ahead.
Photo Credit: Center of Attention by Boeke

1 comment:

  1. I am definitely a group A kind of gal. It is difficult to be surrounded by those who view technology negatively. When I first discovered Twitter, my first thought was, "this will be awesome in the classroom!" Kids could tweet about their day, parents could subscribe and keep up with what was happening in their child's day. It took me 3 years to convince of the values of Twitter. It wasn't until this year that I was given permission to use it with my students.