Watching the videos and reading the articles about the technology that is making its way into education, I am beginning to realize just how much I don’t know and how much I need to learn and adapt if I am going to continue to be effective in the classroom. The videos this week were somewhat intimidating, as I am very unfamiliar with the technology being discussed in the videos.
My wife and I only recently got an XBOX 360 when her parents decided they didn’t have kids at the house enough and it would be better off with us. Even still, I’ve never even used the Kinect, much less considered its potential implications in the classroom. However, in listening to the video and reading the accompanying article, I can see where the draw would be to try to include this technology in the classroom. I don’t necessarily see this being a widely adopted tool, though I can certainly appreciate the suggestion in the article that this would be a great assisted technology for students who might use it to move a mouse with eye movements, for example. With the current crop of teachers embedded in the field still considerably older than the newcomers just entering the profession, I have to agree with Osborne that it is unlikely we would see much gesture-based technology being widely used any time soon.
The bit of technology described this week that I am most familiar with is the thin client, and that is primarily through WOU. When WOU initially adopted this technology a few years ago, as with anything new, there was a little bit of apprehension on my part. “What is this and how is it going to work for me?” After growing accustomed to it and seeing how seamless the transition was, the worry and concern naturally slipped away. While I don’t see this being adopted in my own school anytime soon, as we are simply too small an organization, larger districts, such as Salem-Keizer would benefit greatly from the many benefits of the increased flexibility and saved costs over time that this would provide.
It is unfortunate, but I think Osborne is correct when she says that there is still such a deep distrust of technology. Unfortunately for many teachers coming out of programs right now, there is a minimal inclusion of it in the college teacher preparation curriculum. Even here at WOU, there was only one class specifically devoted to technology in undergrad. We created a few different projects and I was introduced to some amazing programs, but I don’t feel I acquired any long-lasting skills that will benefit my instruction in the classroom. In this class, I have appreciated even just the opportunity to create and manage a blog for the classroom. While we did create a blog for undergrad, we used it once and then were on to another project. Although I do not understand all of the technology available to us as educators, I am finding myself trying to expand what I do feel comfortable with and am able to bring into the classroom and going forward from that point. We all have to start somewhere, right?