One minute on the internet

internet 60 seconds

There used to be a saying something along the lines that a successful person knew how to use 5 minutes wisely. If you look at this infographic , then we could well reduce that to one minute. It is mindboggling what happens in one minute on the internet. Since 2017 this has all increased dramatically. We are more connected that ever and, clearly, we want to be. There is no doubt that technology is a part of our daily lives in a big way  and that it is largely to do with connecting with others. Lori Lewis who is very involved with radio broadcasting and its reach has supplied these graphics and discusses them on allaccess. People are using multiple devices and the royal wedding  recently demonstrated that clearly. As device and internet users we are plugged in , constantly connected , commenting, conversing and researching. People can reject this way of being but clearly , with the increase in that behaviour, it is now who we are. It is not doing. It is being. We want o share our thoughts and ideas. We want to engage with others. We want to act and react. We can do that across the planet. How that evolves is up to us and it’s all about collaboration rather than competition.

Do what you wanna do

E-WOT Image: my image via befunky

I have just used Wordle to make an image of my E-WOT blog and then I have customised it by going to the BeFunky site. I did it because I wanted to. That’s the whole point these days. We can do what we want with technology and use it to produce, create and offer whatever we wish. There is no longer one size fits all in terms of use and content creation. That being the case, nothing in the use of educational technology should be set in concrete nor should it be mandated in terms of use because we are still in the process of  discovering what there is in terms of technology to benefit education. As we use technology with teaching we shouldn’t have the market economy or human capital head on. We should be looking through our education lens as we always have. Now, though, more than ever , I think , teachers are in the position where they can test and try all sorts of devices, OS’s, software, sites and sounds. We are pioneering still. We are partners in learning with our students, parents and colleagues. There is so much to discover and so much to unfold and unpack as an educator, there is no way we can be lone ranger in the classroom. We need to connect with each other and our students so we are constantly creating a feedback loop which will eventually, assuming technology doesn’t keep developing at this rapid rate, settle on best practice. We ended up with textbooks, workbooks and pens and pencils for quite some time once we moved away from inkpots and pens. We had reached the colourful highlighter and texta phase when the ground shifted and desktop computers took off. At the moment the internet shifts and resettles about every 6 months so you have to change your approach to a certain extent. About every two years devices and OS’s have significant changes . What did we do before iPads which are now tablets? We have to connect and collaborate because it is a rapid change phase and the ideas burgeon and grow into useful and usable classroom tools. My next post will look at how I think we are managing this. Some people think we aren’t. In terms of education there is a lot to consider and take on board. It’s not just a matter of using laptops or Photoshop or iPads. It’s much much more and it is fun. So, until the next post, just do what you want to do with technology and if it is being processed through your teacher head , it will have a good impact.

Laptop Lessons Review

I am 5 weeks down the track now with my laptop lessons with two classes and then I have two classes without laptops so it has been a good basis for comparison. I blogged about my first laptop lessons here. Overall there are more advantages with laptop lessons than non laptop lessons. I find in my non laptop lessons I am working harder, talking more and having to keep students on task more often. With the laptops the worst thing which has happened is a total of 3 students in 2 classes have done the wrong thing in lesson. One girl was playing a film. Her laptop was locked in my filing cabinet until she was doing partner work at the front of my class. I gave her paper and pen and we had quite a talk but she was in a very emotional state and needed that talk. One boy was transferring movie files. He voluntarily showed me the files and then spent a week at the front so I could monitor his screen and he told me I had done the right thing. The third student was on iChat. I don’t know if I have changed his behaviour but I haven’t caught him out again. I have had a couple of issues with the sound and vision on my whiteboard and a couple of laptops have had camera problems. The technical support and my capacity to troubleshoot have been great! All in all I can say with non laptops the lessons are not as effective. I can see and feel that now. Laptop lessons are more fun, fit in a lot of content and are more comprehensive. The students can type up notes really fast. We have automatically shared all our tips and tricks so now we are pretty efficient. I am up tot he stage where Friday I launch the first multimedia assessment for French. My students could have done with recording booths or a different classroom set up to make their little videos. I shall seek official feed back from them but their French has been good and their videos look like they will be fun. We have done other grammar exercises to complement what they are doing and it seems to be really good. Friday we’ll know!
In a nutshell?
The positives:
1. The students are always absorbed and interested in doing things on their laptops.
2. They type up notes really, really fast.
3. We share technology tips and tricks.
4. They are working at a higher level in terms of content.
5. We laugh a lot or are utterly silent.

The negatives:
1. Technology breakdowns – but I always have plan B and good technology support.
2. I sometimes have to really demand their attention…they drift off into the screen.
3. The occasions they cannot be trusted. This works on trust.
4. The younger ones need to have things repeated more often.
5. Students who are not so confident on a computer can become intimated by those who think they are good.

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