You should read this article.
Did you read it? If you’re skimming, you should really go back and read it.
As a part of the “Net Generation,” I agree there is a clear difference between those of us born in the 1980’s and those born in the 1990’s (what Rosen calls the iGeneration). The difference is in our thinking and how we process and expect information. Whereas when I have a question, I can hop online and find the answer, the iGeneration person can hop online, find it faster, and find a video or other multimedia presentation of it. Whereas I may do a little multitasking, I still work in a quiet room, at my too-big desk, with papers stacked and stapled everywhere; the iGeneration works with music, watching television, playing a computer game, and chatting with friends all at the same time.
We’re different, and the generation gap gets bigger with each new technological advance. Yet I, admittedly, am still teaching how I always wanted to learn and process information: in silence, doing one concentrated task at a time. Unfortunately, as the article mentions, this is not the way to reach the kids of today anymore.
What I’ve tried to do is accumulate some of the tools I am using this year into one post with the links listed below. Can’t figure out how to use something? Take a lesson from our younger friends and find a YouTube video.
TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES I USE THAT YOU SHOULD TRY!!!
Evernote: This resource allows you to collect notes on any of your devices and save them online for easy access. I am using it to clip important pieces from articles online for my students and to organize my personal articles for reading/blogging at a later date.
Prezi: Way more interactive than Power Point. The first time I used it, I became very aggravated by the zoom feature, but now, I can whip together an interactive, visually engaging presentation in literally no time. I’ve been working this summer to transfer all of my PPTs from the past few years into neat and organized Prezis. This, for example, is a pretty cool Prezi I made for going over my Honors II summer projects–You’ll note there aren’t many notes on the Prezi, which I did on purpose. My goal is to lead students in finding the answers.
Google Reader: As I get further involved in the blogging world, I find that I subscribe to so many blogs and have no way to track RSS feeds in an organized manner. Google Reader allows me to see all of the updates in one place. This way, when I have an opportunity to sit and read, I can do that from any device.
Google Voice: This is what I talked about in a previous post. I’m using Google Voice this year to allow kids to text in answers to bell ringers and call in answers for homework questions. You can create or choose your own Google Voice number and link it (or not!) to your personal phone.
Audacity: To help out our special education department, I am going to record my own tests this year for students who get to have tests read as an accommodation. Audacity will be my tool for that.
Mimio: I’ve requested a Mimio this year to help with all the tools and technologies I’ll be using (especially those Prezis). While Mimio connect is awesome for teacher-created tools and interactive presentations, I look forward to making my own and using it with some of my Prezis.
Each tool I add seems to be both making my life easier as well as making my content more engaging for my students. Try them!