In recent years, the digital age has transformed the education environment entirely. We started from merely integrating elements of technology into teaching, to completely relying on technology as a platform to deliver education as well as teach it. On the market, there are devices and apps designed to teach toddlers how to code—which really paints a picture as to how early technology is penetrating the lives of our children today. As a result, educators need to be at the forefront of introducing as well as teaching digital media to students. This will equip them to be better suited and competitive amongst their peers, and also learn things that are practical in today’s world. Educators can help students understand the independence, ownership, and individual value they can bring in their work through digital media.
Despite the ubiquitous nature of digital media, there still lie many challenges and considerations ahead to crafting a new brand of education tied in with digital media. Students need to understand both the potential and limitations to this wealth of information from their use of digital media. For instance, this world introduces a new branch of safety issues such as cybersecurity, which was never thought of as a threat that might affect children. There are so many other unexplored territories and models of education with digital media. Educators need to themselves be equipped to provide these lessons. There also needs to be proper metrics to assure that the quality of the digital education model is adequate to match the needs of the students.
The two twitter chats I participated in were #edtechbridge and #teacherpowered. This was my first time joining a twitter chat, so I was a little confused at first. I kept thinking I had to join a chatroom because that is all I know from my AIM (aol instant messenger) days. Soon, I discovered all I had to do was click the hashtag and go to the ‘latest’ tab. For both chats I participated in, the pace of the conversation was fast and hard to keep up with. It was also difficult to keep up with questions or comments that were directed at my tweets. Even so, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience because it was a great opportunity to hear about what educators are implementing in their classroom. The participants also tweeted many inspirational quotes that belong on bumper stickers! I’m definitely interested in joining more Twitter chats in the future. I’m wondering how I can be better informed of twitter chats that pertain to the topics I am interested in?
“Each time a teacher tells a student that what they care about the most, what makes them curious and passionate outside of school, does not belong In the classroom, that teacher also delivers another message: What teachers care about and what is mandated by educational standards have little or nothing to do with learners’ activities once the school bell rings.” (Jenkins, 2012)
This quote was particularly jarring as it made me think back to the moments when I have confiscated items or stopped students from talking about video games or tv shows. I think it is natural for an educator to remove distractions so students can focus on their work. I have never considered how our actions may unknowingly send the message that what we teach in school has nothing to do with real life experiences. When writing all about books during our non-fiction unit, I instructed students to stay away from Pokemon Go and Minecraft. I feared that they would be too distracted by the topic and made this decision intending to ensure they wouldn’t get too carried away with content and forget about structure. Now I am beginning to see how this would have been a great opportunity to make a connection between educational standards and real life. I am reminded of an educator’s responsibility to create opportunities for real-life connections, which will increase engagement and motivation.
This shortform video shares the process of how my 2nd graders participate in rug club conversations! Students take turns sharing their books with their group members. Listeners must make it on the “board” by asking questions and sharing ideas. Once they ask a question and share, they can put their name down. This activity teaches into participation and hopefully can build foundational skills needed in a digital participatory environment.