2 Resolutions: Only 1 Counts
Despite my skepticism, I made 2 resolutions for 2009. Maintaining this blog and learning more about digital literacies is one. The other is more typical and therefore doomed to failure, allowing my treadmill to return to its previous function as drying rack sooner than later.
3 moments that made me say “Woah!”:
Three separate, though related, moments in late 2008 prompted my commitment to think more deeply about how our students have changed and how we, as educators must change to meet their needs. These moments held up the mirror in which I saw reflected what Marc Prensky calls “The Digital Immigrant”. In all three moments, I was struck with the slightly uncomfortable feeling that I was indeed foreign to the digital world. I felt old and, despite my best efforts, my ‘accent’ was showing.
The first moment was when I was counseling a student who was having difficulty being at school. He said to me, “My online life is better than my real life.” After I got over my initial reaction of “Woah!”, I started to ask what made his online life better and his answers revealed that he felt empowered and in charge of his online identity. This led me to want to learn more about social networking, online identity, engagement and authority. I wanted to know how to use his online experiences to help make things better for him at school.
The second moment occurred when a student looked at me earnestly and said, “I don’t typically read text in .doc format. I use .doc only to edit.” This same student, along with two of his peers, used the collaborative Google Docs to work on a group project – without any instruction from me. Woah! I realized that I needed to know more about how students interact with and produce digital text.
The third moment, and closer to home, was when my 6 year old son told me that he had “skyped Santa.” Woah! I couldn’t help but wonder how different his way of processing his environment is compared to my own.
So, here I am, a mom and an educator, with my plan to deepen my thinking about learning and learning about thinking …