New test post
This is my new post
As a "technology integration specialist" at a middle school in Ohio, I have developed a unique perspective on learners and learning style. The title of the blog is actually the title of a book that I hope to finish at some time. I look at some traditional educational practices that have been about for years (and years and years and years) and speak a little on why these practices will once and for all become obsolete and/or ineffective.
Wow! I was just reading up on some research about attention blindness or change blindness.
This is a test of another new system that hopefully will allow me to stream my own video from my personal machine.
I was recently reading/responding to an comment I read on Edutopia's website. Here's the comment:
To Teach Typing or Not?
The question is a great one! So good in fact, that I have yet to hear a good answer in over 10 years of dealing with educational technology.
Here is what I know:
1) Typing speed and accuracy:
a. The ability to keystroke quickly, without errors, and without looking is a definite skill that helps students/adults become more productive in their work.
b. Is it a “necessary” skill? I have seen many people type using the hunt and peck method just as quickly as those that use conventional methods. The key to students developing their own method comes when they feel the “need” to get faster and more accurate.
2) What age is the correct time?
a. This is another question that has been hotly debated. No real agreement has been reached. Just because their hands are large enough to reach all the keys in conventional fashion doesn’t mean their brains are developed enough to begin put the information into functional memory.
b. This also brings up the debate about whether or not to allow students to keyboard at all without using conventional methods. If they don’t do it “properly” should we stop them from doing it all together?
3) Technology as a tool for learning:
a. For many years now, districts have had to choose whether or not “technology” was a tool, or as a class in itself. Should we have classes that teach only technology, or classes that teach subjects (i.e.: science) using technology?
Here are the district technology team’s thoughts so far on these topics:
We all agree that we are more productive because of our ability to keystroke with speed and accuracy. But, we are also aware that some members of our team don’t use conventional typing methods and are still very productive. They tend to be as fast as they need to be.
That takes us to the next question. We would love to offer courses/workshops on conventional typing, but when would we do it?
If we handled it at the Middle School, we run into a couple of issues.
1) A course like that, to be effective would need to be handled on a daily or at least A/B schedule. This course would need to be held in one of the computer labs which would essentially tie up one lab for just these courses. We have about 75% computer lab utilization with just teachers/classes using the labs for curriculum work. Would it be worth it to shut down ¼ of the computer access in the MS to teach typing? We have decided no, just as we decided years ago to no longer offer computer applications classes. Everything we do is predicated on the fact that technology is a tool to help us learn, not something that we need to learn in isolation.
2) Doing the course in the MS might be too late. Bad habits are hard to break! This goes for offering the course at the HS as well!
We have chosen to handle it in the 2-5
1) Students are only in their technology specials for about 24 hours throughout the course of the year. Even if they spent every day in the labs in 3rd grade doing nothing but keyboarding, it probably still isn’t enough time to become proficient.
2) As in the MS, the instructors in those specials focus more on using the technology as a tool to help them learn. They learn Powerpoint as a way to help show/share their knowledge. They learn how to use Word to create reports, stories, and essays. They learn how to properly search for information on topics they are covering in the science class. We feel each of these examples is at least as important and necessary to ensure their success later in school.
3) So…they do complete some work with a guided program in the 2-5 technology curriculum, but it is probably not enough to become an 80 word per minute typist.
I hope that it is clear that we have struggled with these questions for many years and have developed a solution that we feel is best for the overall district. We continue to stress technology as a tool to help us learn. As with many tools, the more you practice with them, the more productive they will help you become.
This is a test for zoho. It was created and "published" to the blog using Zoho. Why would we continue to pay for Microsoft Office? I know that Office has more functionality, but those are mainly bells and whistles. How many of us actually use those features in our every day work environment. I think that we are almost to the point of "less is more" in word processing.
YouTube is another one of those new technologies that will drastically change teaching...BECAUSE of the way it changes learning. I truly believe that all people love to learn. I am reminded of Seymour Papert in the Children's Machine.