Reflection on 5 K-12 Technology Trends for 2010

found this THE Journal article via TuckSoon’s blog, and thought perhaps i can write some thoughts as well. haven been able to post much meaningful things to this space for a long while … the five (5) trends:

1. eBooks Will Continue to Proliferate
i’m not sure how popular eBooks are with our youth or in our classrooms. personally i dont own one, nor like to own one at this point in time. staring at a monitor/screen whole day long a work is enough for me, no more screen per se; plus an eBook is still not built for quick browsing; reliant on power source is always an issue for any electronic device. if u’re like me who likes to use a pen/pencil/highlighters to draw/scribble in a (text)book, or even to fold pages of a book as bookmarks, an eBook doesnt seem to be able to meet my needs. last but not least, i’m worried for our world-class myopia rate among youth.

improving presentation aside, as mentioned in the article, i think an eBook will really be of value and not just electronic paper, if any content in the book will seamlessly link me to the larger community, as large as the internet, as close as my study mates. ideas can be exchanged, explored and clarified while one reads from an eBook. perhaps the eBook techonology has reached this stage and i’m totally unaware of it? utterly possible. if so, i would like to play with one and explore its capabilities for learning and teaching in the classroom.

2. Netbook Functionality Will Grow
we juz gotten ourselves an acer aspireone recently, as the price was too attractive to be missed on a purchase-with-purchase deal. after using so many different laptops all these years, i only like three things abt a netbook (1) lightweight (2) long battery life (3) relatively cheap full-capability computing device (not suitable for CPU or graphics intensive application though). i’m not quite sure what other functionality the author hopes to see, but personally if a netbook can be turned into a TabletPC with stylus input (not touchscreen type, e.g. kohjinsha, asus t91; but TC1100 for e.g.). if the true tabletPC stylus input capability is extended to the netbook, it would allow for an additional way for students to interact with the device.

3. More Teachers Will Use Interactive Whiteboards
anyone who’s been into a classroom can testify the importance of a black/whiteboard. however, the ‘light speed’ development of ICT doesnt seem to quite catch up with this one single piece of ‘educational technology’ in our classroom. personally, i would be most happy if more teachers have the chance to access and use an IWB in his/her classroom. though some may argue that an IWB promotes mostly frontal teaching, well, i would say frontal teaching wont go away even if there isnt the IWB. it’s a change in the pedagogy of the teacher that should be looked into, and i believe an IWB will be able to find it’s place for any methodology/pedagogy a teacher chooses to adopt. here’s a lesson i had cooked while imagining i had an IWB in the classroom. yes, the sad fact is i have never had the chance to teach in a classroom with IWB.

4. Personal Devices Will Infiltrate the Classroom
this would be true if it’s not already been so. once again, the key question here is how a school and/or a teacher would harness the positive impact of such a trend. if i recall, most, if not all telcos, are allowing unlimited smses for their student plans. if only i can cheaply and easily acquire a device attached to my laptop that can receive sms responses from students, assessment for learning would be made an instantaneous reality. how nice (:

5. Technology Will Enable Tailored Curricula
reading from the article, i do not doubt the capability of our LMS vendors to further enhance their capabilities to track students’ performances. i think the difficulty for a teacher would be how can i manage these wealth of data (that’s a nice way to say data OVERLOADING). our teacher to student ratio is still far from the day (if this day will ever come) when a teacher can comfortably tailor his/her instructions to recognise the diverse capabilities and learning needs of individual students. it’s not a technological issue here, but a human plus a larger systemic and reality issue that we’re looking at over here.

…. it’s getting late … time to sleep … (:

Tools for the classroom

Saw this post by Christopher D. Sessums on the tools he had experimented with his students in one semester. I counted tools, just to name a few:

  • the Google suite: docs, spreadsheets, reader, scholar, ….
  • journaling: Blogger, WordPress
  • concept maps: Gliffy, Bubblous, Wisdomap, and MindMeister
  • media/presentation: Audacity, Jing, Prezi, VoiceThread, Wordle

and many more …. you should read the posting and be AWED 😛

how i wish i can experiment some, if not all, of these tools with students back in school 🙁

50+ Web 2.0 Ways To Tell a Story

if you’re an EL/CL/ML/TL/any other language teacher and seeking ideas to “web2.0” your language classrooms, check out this resource put together by Alan Levine. the idea’s not too difficult:

  1. Outline a Story Idea
  2. Find Some Media
  3. Pick a Tool to Build Your Story

change the tool as often as you like and you can plan unlimited ways (use a different story prompt, coupled with different media, and when more and more tools’ made available) of getting students to tell/write stories the whole year round (:
if you need an example of how it can be done, take a look at Alan’s 50+ Ways to Tell the Dominoe Story.
enjoy (:

iBreadCrumbs – archiving and sharing your research journey

saw this new online tool mentioned in Anne Davis’s post and thought it’s a nice tool to try out, and best of all, you get to share your findings with other users. something about the tool:

iBreadCrumbs is…
A Social Network for Researchers
to Share Recorded URLs, Track Websites,
Review Notes Online, and Encourage
Online Collaborative Research.

to find out more, visit the site now!
2 things that came to my mind before i actually try out the tool:
1. the dynamicity of the www can lead to the fast outdating of our research. for how long would such a research ‘history’ be useful and how much would it benefit other fellow users?
2. organising makes info more mearningful but it takes effort and time as well if we were to review the list recorded by the tool and strike off sites that we deemed not useful. not sure if this would be too overwhleming.
will try it out soon 🙂

real life example for (ed)voicethread

exactly 3 months ago i posted about voicethread and about 22hrs ago a comment left by a fellow singaporean CL teacher came as a pleasant surprise. he’s 德顺(his students would call him 关老师)from rulang pri sch, and he has got some real voicethreads going live! check out his reflections on his experiment with his students, and be sure to drop by his collection of voicethreads too!
great work keep it up and keep the voicethreads coming 🙂