Saturday, March 24, 2012
Technology Is Now: Embracing New Media
The integration of technology into learning at this juncture in time should be a moot point. Yet schools continually block access to websites on the Internet and struggle to decide on a policy that would allow students to bring their own devices (BYOD) into the classroom. "A New Literacy: Making Connections in Electronic Environments," by Frank Romanelli, addresses the idea of embracing the literacy of a digital native by using sketches drawn as the narration progresses.
Beginning with quill and paper, Romanelli makes the point that resistance to change has always threatened earlier ideas of how things should be done. The trouble is the change our students are experiencing is happening at lightning speed. As teachers, we need to embrace the idea that writing as we know it on paper is changing, too. In fact, kids today do more writing electronically than we might think. In addition, new genres are emerging, from text novels to tweet poetry contests. If you think about it, how many people do you know who are playing Words With Friends? It seems to be all the craze, yet it is basically online Scrabble.
A New Literacy: Making Connections in Electronic Environments from Frank Romanelli on Vimeo.
The bottom line is that technology is now and is not going away. Kids, however, still need to learn how to express their ideas; that's the teacher's job. How they do it should be irrelevant. It is also our job to train them to communicate in their world. Teachers need to learn how to use new media, and schools need to support its full integration, even if it means BYOD. Like the animated video, Ode to #Pencilchat: Technology Integration in the Classroom, from the Think and Dream in English blog, technology is the game changer and we need to change with it. Perhaps both of these animations should be used not only at professional development workshops for teachers on integrating new technology in the classroom, but also for school administrators.