Whew! I can’t believe how much I worked and how hard I was stressing over a 30 minute presentation. I’m not sure it was even that long…
So a quick review – I had a little bit of time to talk to my teachers about the need for technology integration. I have a lot of teachers that see all this new “stuff” but aren’t interested in using it in teaching. They’ve always taught without it before, so… Anyway, they’ve seen Shift Happen, Did You Know… They’ve heard me rant and rave. But it didn’t seem to click for some teachers. So I got the idea that maybe they were hearing all these statistics and the like and they just didn’t believe that OUR kids – the ones at THIS school – were the kids being described everywhere. I mean, it’s not like they have their game systems out. It’s not like you see their iPods. Cellphones are banned from the school so maybe teachers didn’t know the kids still owned them.
With not enough time to do this properly, I decided to film some of our students talking about the technology they have and the technology they don’t remember being around. I send a quick plea for help for questions, but some of the responses didn’t come in time for the actual filming. Again, because I had such a short time between filming and presenting, I could only use the students that I could get – my 4th and 5th grade tech club members. And even then, I didn’t get to record all of them. But I pulled them out one at a time – except for one group of three that ended up being very entertaining later – and asking them questions. They were to answer the questions in complete sentences so that I would not have to play myself asking anything. For example, the question “Have you ever listened to music on an 8 track tape?” would be answered, “I have never listened to music on an 8 track tape.” I didn’t get to give them enough prep, so their answers will a little forced and nervous and the recording took a LONG time with me going, “no, don’t just say yes or no, give the question in the answer.” But it worked. I’ll post the questions I asked later in the message.
After I got the video together, I sliced it to heck and back and grouped the responses together by question as new projects in iMovie ’08. An aside, I miss getting to label a clip like in iMovie HD. All of these clips looked to similar to know by looking which was which. Arrgghh!! But I digress. After splicing and regrouping, I put together the Keynote (PowerPoint). I started with a clip from YouTube which I can not pull up right now because it’s blocked in my district. A big thank you to Silvia at Langwitches for her list of educational video clips. The video I used is #2 on that page.
So first, after reading some of the comments on the video, particularly where my Twitter friend (@BarbinNebraska) pointed me to, I told my teachers to watch the video and not focus on whether or not it’s “right” that the kids play video games or chat or whatever, but realize the reality of it and go from there. Then I played that video. I got the reaction I expected. Some people were reached but… there are those they look at these videos and they just don’t see *their* students. And I acknowledged that fact – these aren’t *our* kids.
So then the next slide I talked about the survey the district did last spring. Students were asked a number of questions in regards to their use of technology. I helped design that survey and even less than a year later it’s so out-dated with the things to ask. But there I go wandering again. I presented some of the data from the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students polled in our district:
Of course each bullet was displayed one at a time. But I left out the text, “every single day” on the third, fourth and fifth bullets. I talked very briefly about their use of computers and the fact that these students are published and then I had “every single day” come in animated to give some impact to the fact that this was the percentage of kids for every day and the numbers were still higher when you added in the kids that said, “almost every day,” and “a few times a week.” The next slide was more stats similar to above, including that 73% of our district’s 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students have their own cellphones. And through the whole presentation I reminded the teachers that we were talking about our district’s kids – not those kids in the video.
The next slide, I pulled it in closer. It was a short video of the splices of my tech club kids saying their names and ages. At this point, I think they teachers were thinking I was just reminding them that our school’s kids were included in this survey. The next slide is when we started the “do you remember” game. I had the teachers raise their hands if they remembered any of the bulleted items on the slide as they appeared one at a time. First 8-tracks, vinyl records, cassette tapes, the Walkman, when CDs were first invented. And the teachers seemed to enjoy the interaction and some shouted out even more things to remember and more than a couple said I was making them feel old. Good! Because the next slide was a video of our kids saying things like, “what’s an 8 track?” “I have no idea what you’re talking about…” “I’ve never played a record.” “I don’t have any cassette tapes – that’s crazy!” “I have an iPod” “I download music off of the Internet.” Now I was getting some reaction. These were OUR kids. After the clip, I gave them stats of when these technologies came into place and pointed out that the dates were not that long ago.
The next slide was on telecommunications. Do you remember party lines, rotary phones, your family’s first cordless, when “mobile” phones required a bag. And the video to follow was our students – “I have never used a rotary phone – that’s old school!” “I have a cellphone” “I have a Firefly” “I have a Chocolate phone.”
Then television. Do you remember when cable TV still meant less than 20 channels, when you had to turn a dial to change the channel, or when you missed your favorite tv show – you MISSED your favorite tv show. And clips of kids saying they’ve never changed a tv channel by turning a knob/dial, and then saying they have tvs in their room, or 5 in their house, or how many HD tvs they have.
Then games. Do you remember Atari, Pacman (originally), the first Nintendo game console. And then clips of the kids listing out all of the game systems – XBox 360, PSP, PS2, PS3, DS, Wii. I spoke over this clip because it was long and repetitive and I reminded how we didn’t all have Atari – sometimes you had to go to a friend’s house to play but these kids were listing multiple game systems. These kids – OUR kids. Our kids where we have 60% on free or reduced lunch. OUR kids!
Then my catch-all. Do you remember double-spacing after each period? Watches with hands and no batteries? Phones BCW (Before Call Waiting)? The VHS and beta wars? Sending a letter you wrote by hand? And students, “I’ve never used a typewriter.” “I’ve never wound a watch” “I don’t know what you mean by wound-ing [sic] a watch.” “I’ve never heard a busy signal.” “I’ve never mailed a letter with a stamp – why would I do that?” And then them all saying they email – and by the way it wasn’t until after I recorded all of them that they kids told me that email is old and I should have asked about texting or instant messages – listing the number of DVD players they have. And again, after each video we talked about when the technologies came into being and how what we consider “technology” is just everyday “stuff” to them. Like trying to tell our generation that dry erase boards are technology.
The next slide was an image I found on Flickr. I showed just the image and read off some of the predictions and we talked about what was right and what was way underestimated – like they totally missed taking video with a phone. The next slide was a prompt for discussion one where technology is headed in the realm of telecommunications, home appliances, shopping, home automation, and bionics. We talked about the fridge that will automatically order groceries for you, and the smart homes and the advances in making things move with thought. I told them how my tech club kids said that in 25 years we will walk into a grocery store (some are convinced we will beam there) and load up our carts and walk out because the cart will know what we have and how much it costs and the store will know who we are and automatically deduct from our bank accounts. And by the way, one kid suggested the doors would lock shut if you were overdrawn and tried to walk out. We had a chuckle but discussed the likelihood of advancements in this direction and how it might be closer than we think.
I ended kind of on a bad note, but that was my purpose. The next slide was the sad pitiful facts from our survey. Only 9% of our students use a computer at school every single day. 23% of the surveyed students felt their school was falling behind in regards to technology (to my school’s credit, I have no idea what our school’s students said – this was back to the entire district). And finally, that our students might use computers for Accelerated Reader tests, for TAKS prep, and research, but only 9% used computers at ALL for any create expression/presentation or creation. I asked the question, if technology is so infused in our lives – raise your hands if you have a cellphone, if your grocery store uses a scanner, if you have a bank card – if technology is so much a part of our lives, and completely infused in the lives of our children, why isn’t it equally integrated into our teaching?
The final slide was a picture of a road and an empty bullet (list bullet, not gun bullet) with the title, “Where do we go from here?”
I was complimented on the presentation, and I do believe a lot of teachers finally “got it.” Our next part of the professional development teachers were to work with their grade levels and design a lesson incorporating technology. I wasn’t thrilled about this part because I think they still needed direction on making sure they weren’t using technology for the sake of using technology and they weren’t using technology when truly the low-tech way was just as easy, but I mingled among the groups and I think I was able to extend some of their lessons. I think we’ll be seeing a lot of podcasts in the coming weeks!
I know I’ve droned on about this already, but there’s more. In the afternoon, our district had Ian Jukes as a guest speaker. He was at one professional learning center and then broadcast out to all of the school and departments. And he did a way better job talking about where technology is going than I did. But it was awesome because it was someone paid a heckofalot more than I am saying the same things, and with much more force. I’m really happy with what ended up being my opener for him because I brought it to our school. The teachers realized that when we talk about all this tech stuff, we’re talking about OUR students at OUR school. And I think they were able to keep that in mind listening to Ian Jukes. All in all it was really good. I think some teachers that hadn’t been reached before were now – and that’s what matters.
I wish I could share the presentation with you, but I didn’t have the kids’ parents’ permission to video and I sure as heck don’t have it to publish. And the point is to use your own kids anyway. Let me know if you have any questions digimom -at- tech chick tips -dot- net. And thank you thank you THANK you to everyone that gave me question ideas, wished me luck, and prayed for me. You’re the best!