If a Tree Falls in the Forest…

I wanted to thank my friend Roger for the kind mention in his blog. Roger wonders “how many teachers are using blogs and wikis”? Well, I know of at least three wikis:

I’m sure there are others. I haven’t even tried podcasting, which seems to have a lot of promise. My students aren’t really blogging, either. However, invariably my colleagues and even some students react to this technology with the standard “What is that? I feel frustrated by the fact that my students have not yet tapped the potential that exists in all this technology I provide for them. It isn’t any good if it isn’t accessed and used. I think that I need to start requiring that students post content. Next year, I can just make it a clear part of my course expectations in the syllabus, I suppose.

Roger says my students are lucky that they have a web savvy teacher. Not to toot my own horn too much, but I agree. I’m pretty much alone in that regard at my school, with the exception of our technology specialist. I think I would really have liked to have all this “stuff” I’m providing my students. In my day (listen to how grizzled that sounds), we didn’t have computer labs. We were lucky if we had old Apple IIe’s around. I took Typing class and thought it was snazzy to be able to use an electric typewriter. I used a word processor in college and thought I was really something. I keep telling my students how lucky they are to have all of this technology at their fingertips. I tell them stories about having to retype entire pages after making one mistake — of having to draft essays on notebook paper with pen or pencil (horrors!).

But what good is all of this technology if the students don’t use it? Isn’t there anything else we can do besides IM friends and update Myspace pages?

3 thoughts on “If a Tree Falls in the Forest…”

  1. I'm guessing many of your students know about the blog feature on MySpace, though – they're just not used to it being used in formats we "traditionalists" think of as being blogs. In looking at the MySpace group that has formed up around the school I retired from, about half of the kids I would have had this year have a web presence, and most blog. Again – they just don't see it that way.

  2. I think they know about it, since most of them have a MySpace site, but the vast majority of them don't use it. One of them did. Frankly, one thing I wonder about MySpace pages without blogs is, what's the point?

  3. My county actually issues laptops to all the students in the secondary schools. Last year, we were using iBooks. This year, we have brand new Dell laptops. I agree with you- all it seems the kids seem to know to use on the computers is IM, myspace, and playing games. I created a website for my classes (a requirement for our school) where I posted handouts, study guides, and an assignment calendar for my students. None of them use the website, even when I kindly remind them that the missing handout they need is posted up on the website! I enjoy technology, however, and despite the lack of use my website enjoys, I have been inspired by your use of technology and created a Wiki myself! I truly enjoy your website and the information you provide your students as well as other educators! 🙂

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