While working on ideas for the Integrated Media class I will be teaching next year I came across Mind42.com, an idea mapping program that runs from your browser. It is not always intuitive, but it helped me layout some of my ideas. In the end the map looked like this:
It is a little hard to see, but you can check it out in more detail at: Integrated Media – Showcases
It is a fun little tool and it has helped me visualize what I want to do. At first I wondered if it would just be easier to use the old “webbing” technique on paper, but I found that the text functions attached to the nodes were really helpful. It was also nice that it exports as a jpeg and as a RTF file.
I am currently reading Rewired by Larry D. Rosen, Ph.D. The book is about understanding the way that the iGeneration learns. The book defines the iGeneration as:
“…born in the 1980’s and 1990’s, the iGeneration children and teens are in elementary school, middle school, and high school. They spend their days immersed in a “media diet,” devouring entertainment, communication, and well, any form of electronic media. They are master multitaskers, social networkers, electronic communicators and the first to rush to any new technology.”
The iGeneration fills their time with social media, connected to their friends through facebook, tweets, IMs and texting. This generation texts more than it talks on the phone according to a 2008 study by the Nielsen polling group fro a panel of 50,000 cell phone owners they found that preteens (why do they have phones in the first place?) sent and received 428 texts a month and only 137 calls. Teens 13 – 17 sent and received 1742 texts and only 231 calls monthly, which is staggering, but a similar study nine months later found that these same teens were sending 2899 texts compared to only 191 calls. What does this mean for learning and teaching?
Our children are sending and receiving information in a maximum of 140 characters a tweet and 160 characters a text. Their information is one search away and comes to them in megabytes. Entertainment is HD, interactive, bigger than life, gives instant feedback and is often linked to their friends through the internet. It is difficult to imagine that our schools, teachers and parents can compete with this kind of technological onslaught.
Is it any wonder that our children claim that they are bored in a place that has limited technology and real people rather than digitally enhanced super people?
A little about who I am. I currently teach 4th grade and have been teaching at that level for 7 years. I taught 8th grade and outdoor education before I got into the fourth grade classroom. Currently I have a Master’s in Curriculum and teacher leadership from Miami of Ohio and in Educational Administration from Northern Kentucky round things out on the education front. I am looking into a Ph.D. in the near future.
For fun I geocache (take a look at geocaching.com), read, and spend way too much time playing World of Warcraft. On the other hand, I think of WoW as professional development due to playing with a wonderful group of educators in the Cognitive Dissonance guild (http://cognitivedissonance.guildportal.com/Guild.aspx?GuildID=228854&TabID=1927706). If you are interested in checking out the game or the guild come make a toon on Sisters of Elune and see what it is all about.
I am currently reading Disrupting Class by Clayton M. Christensen which has me thinking a lot about how and why we do the things we do in education. Part of my reason for blogging is because I hope to post about my reading and get some discussion going about our profession. The book is about innovation, but it is more about why schools can’t/won’t innovate. It is sad at times, fascinating most of the time, and difficult to wrap my mind around. Hopefully the community will help me figure it out.