Why Twitter and Facebook Are Not Good Instructional Tools

I agree. I have cut way back on using my laptop or cell phone to organize my life. I have found it takes a long time to learn how a program really works. The main reason though, is I have found it takes a lot longer for me to do most things which takes me away from my children. Click here to learn more or read an excerpt below.

 

Using Tech to Create

Despite my shifting beliefs about the efficacy of certain technologies in the classroom, I am a long way from giving up on technology altogether—indeed, I currently teach a digital media and storytelling course. There is tremendous power and potential in what we can teach students with sound, image, and video-based projects.

These days, instead of simply embracing Web 2.0 tools, I’ve decided to embark on creating a curriculum that utilizes technology as part of a larger creation process. Like the writing process, which requires planning, prewriting, drafting, editing, and revision, we can utilize audio, still photos, and video—all student-generated—to teach students to be tech savvy in a meaningful way.

In my digital storytelling course, for example, students learn how to collaborate using Google Docs, analyze images and video in the context of literature and narrative, and apply photo rules when they shoot, interview, edit, and sequence all of their raw footage and images. They create photo essays, audio slideshows, and short documentaries from start to finish, then critique each other’s work. I’m lucky to have collaborating professionals join class weekly. I’ve also learned that true tech savviness starts with people. If students can’t communicate face-to-face to conduct interviews or set up photo shoots, there is little point in placing a camera in their hands or a laptop at their desk. As educators, we must find a balance between screen time and “face” time.

If it’s simple—even mindless—to use or create with new technology, then we must question the pedagogical value of what we are doing. That said, I don’t regret using Poll Everywhere and experimenting with class blogs several years back. After all, as educators we must be willing to test out, and sometimes adapt to, evolving opportunities to teach and engage students. I’m still trying to figure out my curriculum, and will continue to test out new programs and technology applications to enhance the course. But until I’m convinced that cell phone and social media applications truly support deep thinking, my students will keep their devices in their pockets and backpacks.

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