Saturday, November 7, 2009

Week 3 - Thing 7

My church just installed a new AV system and my husband and I will be running it.  I'm not sure how we landed this job - something about being a Media Specialist drew my pastor's attention.  I don't have much experience with sound systems... there have always been students at school who were able to operate the amps, and fortunately my husband took on that section.  The new monitors are connected to a laptop that will run slide shows, live video, etc.  That will be my role.  We have downloaded a program - Media Shout - to allow us to run several slide shows from one program.  I am hoping to incorporate some new things I am learning, like a possible MashUp or a screen shot from Wordle.  It has been an interested transition that some of the older members resist.  I hope the transition goes smoothly.


Another modern, techonology-related experience occurred this week, and this seems like a good forum to share it.  I've heard over and over how we, as educators, need to rethink the "no phones in school" policies that most schools have in place, in order to relate better to teens, get them interested in learning, etc.

I was recently at a meeting where important future dates were being mentioned.  I had been taking notes on paper, but when the speaker began to mention dates, I grabbed my phone to enter the dates so they could later be synched into the calendar on my desktop (which syncs with an online calendar so my assistants know what I'm up to.)  As I entered the dates, I suddenly felt very self-conscious.... to the innocent eye, I appeared to be texting.  But I was on-task and, even more important, I was being EFFICIENT. 

This experience really made me think (and momentarily tune-out of the meeting).  Many of our students are more familiar with these tools than we are.  While they may occasionally use their phones for social purposes, they would also love to use them as a learning tool.  We don't confiscate pens and paper, but I know from my own experience that they can be used during class to look like one is on-task while actually performing a social activity, like writing a note to one's BFF.  No phones during a test is obvious.  But what about the rest of the time.  I wonder how long it will take for this policy to change.

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