reflections on evo 08

Time really flies when you are busy and so my reflections on the 08 smielt session is much later than the actual end.

I certainly learned a lot about moderating, as it was my first time doing it, and I would definitely do it again.  The role of moderator isn’t the same as of instructor, so I was confronted with people who had more experience in some areas than I did. This meant taking a guiding role rather than an authoritative role. The participants all had their experiences to share and so the profit was global and immense. This makes me think about the role of the teacher in the classroom. How much authority is necessary? How can we as educators include our pupils (YL) or students in the decision-making process of what they learn and how they learn it?

And, of course, there was the discovery of different tools and how they can be used. Twitter was especially interesting with quite a bit of scepticism, and at the same time enthusiasm. Like with blogging, I was reluctant to see any use for it, but in the meanwhile I enjoy using it and even keep up private contact through Twitter.

Flickr was another tool that was much discussed, with good ideas flying about. Much sharing and enthusiasm.

The end was Charles’ Hipbone game. Unfortunately, the enthusiasm seemed to taper out before the end of the game. Nevertheless, it was a highly enjoyable experience and a great brain-wracker.

Now a final thank you to all who contributed to the session! It’s been wonderful following your thoughts on your blogs and I hope to keep up the discussions 🙂

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Accountability in teaching with technology

I was just reflecting on Ann’s comment on my last post about using the internet with children and it came ot me that about a year ago there was an incident. A primary school teacher had her kids go to the computer and there were sexually explicit pictures on the screen. The kids went home and told their parents, of course. The result was that this teacher, sho was in no way to blame (it was the school filter, I believe) was accused of wrong-doing, and if I remember correctly, taken to court. I lost the thread, so I don’t know the outcome, but I was pretty taken by the events.

If anyone remembers or can find the link, please leave a comment.

Social media = open media

Sarah mentioned on her blog the following:

Social Media is not part of my culture. To me, it only makes sense when I am participating in a closed environment where I know people – like in this class. The start and stop times, and the built-in time and place to get to know each other makes a difference for me. The concept of joining an ongoing conversation and social group is not something I am comfortable with…yet.

I am well aware of this feeling and it is certainly for each person to decide for themselves. I have also gone through this stage, and perhaps I am now not cautious enough about my presence on the internet. A lot of what I do has to do with trust in others who are also using these tools. Of course, you also have to be aware that everyting you say is documented and can be called up. This must have implications. I would say that this kind of openness can also promote politeness and a more selective choice of expressions.

When using these tools with younger pupils, this is also a topic that needs to be addressed. It is not something the youth worries about, and yet, it is an essential part of training, and I believe strongly that this is our jobs as educators.  They are most certainly unaware of the possible problems that an unreflected statement can have in their later lives.