Right now I’m in a course called “Building Online Learning Communities.” (For those of you just popping in to the blog, I’m working on my Masters in Educational Design and Technology through Concordia University – Wisconsin.)
We’re learning about using blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other Web 2.0 learning tools in education. Our course has a wiki that we’re building as we’re going through our assignments. We are working on weekly technology reviews, and we also have a section on student safety and ethical considerations as students are working online. The students in the class are also a part of a Diigo social bookmarking group where we have a bunch of links that we have shared of things that interest us. For someone who hasn’t used a lot of technology before, that probably seems really overwhelming!
One of my goals through the Masters program and a personal goal of mine is to increase the use of technology and collaborative work in education. It seems to me a huge challenge. I asked the teachers at my school what kind of technological things they would like to learn. The majority of them asked me to teach them how to use PowerPoint. That hit me like a ton of bricks. It seems outrageous to me that PowerPoint…even the basics of making slides is an unknown. But…that’s me. I’m not saying that the teachers here are completely ignorant when it comes to technology. I’m on the cusp of being a digital native. Things were just exploding with the world of the internet as I was growing up. People who were already out in the teaching field before this technology came out may not have had a chance to learn how to use it. (I think, just to be crafty, I’m going to show them Google Docs Presentation. That way, they will have learned a great Web 2.0 tool.)
What I’m attempting to say: When you are working with technology, it’s best to start simple. If a slide presentation is what the teachers at my school want to start with, I’m more than willing to take that first step. It will be the first step to more technology engagement!
If you have a great idea, but are wondering how to do it, just ask! I’m more than willing to help.