Today I was perusing my Google Reader, catching up from the past couple of days... and then it hit me, HOLY COW!
I had just watched a YouTube video on a post from Richard Byrne over at Free Tech for Teachers. (If you're not hooked into his RSS feed you are missing out!) The video came by way of another amazing edtech @AngelaMaiers. Before we continue, I must implore you to take the next 4 minutes and 25 seconds to view this vid... then commence reading this blog post.
Holy cow! Right? I mean, I have seen the Shift Happens vids, but this hit home more. We are missing out on a "teachable moment" with our students by way of social media. I have addressed this topic more and more recently. Maybe it has been part out of frustration, but I believe it is mainly about my belief in instructional technology that enhances our teaching.
Byrne points out in his post something he too has addressed prior... we are cheating these students by banning the technologies that they use the most. I mean it would be the equivalent of banning Suzie's pen and pencil back in the 1950s. That was an essential form of communication back then. Today though, we have banned all methods of communication that our students use on a daily, hourly, minutely (*not a word) basis. Schools are eliminating these tools, instead of teaching responsible use.
We wonder why our students do not email? The answer is simple. We never taught them how to. Schools did not embrace the email fad, now our students are void of this skill. Schools need to adapt their policies, and us our methods as we meet our students and collaborate with them in using these technologies that are changing the way they we "do" our lives.
Mike Meechin is an educator. He is employed by a school district in Central Florida as a high school social science teacher. Mike is also the owner of Innovate Education, LLC., an educational consulting firm in Central Florida.