Media Literacy Final Project
Diigo & Technology
I have often heard people say that technology can be a blessing and a curse, and both sides can be correct. In the case of my final project, technology is a blessing that will make my resources more accessible and organized. As soon as we were informed of the final project, I knew I either wanted to create a website or use an organizational tool. At first, I had no idea that organizational tools like Diigo, Evernote, and LiveBinder existed. I do not know how I have been teaching for six years without hearing about these amazing tools. After deciding to focus on organization, I planned on using Pinterest because I frequently get ideas from it, despite being resistant to create an account. Initially I thought it was another social media site like Twitter where people just share what they are doing and I was hesitant to get sucked into another social media site. However when Pinterest was discussed in class, I figured I would try it and this project would be my excuse to join. When classmates and Dr. Bogad suggested other organizing websites, I decided to try something new rather than following the Pinterest trend and landed on Diigo.
Diigo was a great tool for me to explore because it provides me with a variety of ways to store, organize, and collect information. Since I will be starting a new job in the fall, I almost feel as if I am getting my first teaching job. The job is going to require me to be creative, gather research, and plan engaging lessons that will keep twelve “underachieving” students with learning challenges motivated and excited to learn. As is, I already search the web for materials when I have to teach reading groups or do individual tutoring, so I know I will be using it more frequently. Diigo is the perfect tool because I can bookmark all of the websites and articles that I find into different categories known as My Lists. I can also include a description with each website so I remember what I liked about it and can even highlight or sticky note the information so it is easier to find. I am hoping this tool will help me in working smarter rather than harder!
With the technological changes in our society it is necessary to learn the digital knowledge and skills that surround us. Tools like Diigo, Pinterest, Evernote, and Livebinder make organizing ideas and resources much easier and almost essential in today’s busy world. Cell phones, iPads, and laptops are also useful and a daily must for some. Without these tools, people would continue to have information scattered all of their computer, workplaces, and homes. In addition, these tools are beneficial for people who struggle with organization due to learning and executive functioning challenges. If I knew about Diigo last year, I would have used it with my students when they had to collect sources for research papers. To remember the sources for future use, we either printed the articles or emailed the weblinks to each other. With the increasing demands that are put on people and the expectation to multitask, digital technology is a tool that can enhance learning, organization, and sharing of information. Besides being used for organization, technology can be used to engage and motivate learning. Students would rather watch a video or online presentation, than hear their teacher talk. Technology accesses all learners because it can combine visual, auditory and hands on learning. Technology makes learning realistic and fun, thus keeping students more engaged. When technology is used in the class, learning can be extended because materials can be used to further comprehension and deepen understanding. Why read about volcanoes when you can watch videos about them and tour the country all from your class? Technology enables students to see beyond what they know and connect with others.
Prior to this course, I viewed technology as a useful tool but did not necessarily consider it a must know for all. Yes, technology is important for me, students, and businesses, but I did not think it was a skill that needed to be required. After reading and watching the class text and listening to discussions, I realized that I am wrong. Boyd, Prensky,Wesch, Sugata Mitra, and Turkle have helped me to realize that technology is here and those who do not have the skills will suffer. Today’s jobs thrive on the use of technology and without instruction on how to use it and exposure to digital vocabulary, people will struggle in the school and work setting. I particularly liked how Wesch used the term “knowledge-able” in his TED talk. Many people consider themselves to know how to use technology however it does not mean that they have the skills to analyze, criticize and create information. Students and all people alike need to be taught the critical thinking and vocabulary involved with technology and not just the tools that are fun or simplify life. As Amy said in class, the digital world is coming fast (like a subway train) and WE all need to learn it fast. These set of skills are a necessity to the world that continues to evolve around us and the responsibilities that will be required of people regardless of being a stay at home mom, teacher, or a business executive.
Despite the push for technology, I believe it is pertinent for us to accept technology but also create boundaries for it. According to Turkle, technology is a useful tool but can negatively impact communication among children, adults, colleagues and families. With this new digital age, people are stuck to their smart phones and often forget about the pleasures of physical communication and interaction. Looking ahead, this is something that I fear with my future children. Most of us grew up enjoying the outdoors and playing with others, but many children today are growing up with iPads and other digital gadgets. These things are wonderful educational tools but I worry that children will become attached to technology and lose interest in the world around them. This is something that I know I will face not only as a parent one day but also as a teacher.
As a techno-traditionalist, my worries around technology are ones that I will deal with when the time comes. I know that I will have to teach my children, students, and self the importance of “unplugging” from technology to enjoy life and it’s treasures. Moving ahead into my new teaching position, I am ready to be more accepting of technology and find ways to use it in the classroom. I will be working with underprivileged students at a low performing school, therefore it is essential for me to prepare my students for the digital world they are going to continue growing up in. I think this job will force me to learn new technological skills and move towards being techno-constructivist. Technology is here to stay and we need to embrace it.
Narrative about project idea, process, and importance
How tech enhances or changes content
Draws from at least 3 course themes, text, issues
Demonstrates a new skills/knowledge