3 weeks and counting…
Reading through Living and Learning with New Media (2008), and about the final stage or level of participation, “Geeking Out”, I began to wonder if I had ever reached ‘geekdom’ with anything I had particpated in. What would classify me as a geek? The article referred to the gaming world, anime, MySpace, and YouTube. YouTube is and can be used similarly to a blog, except it becomes what I’ve learned is called a “vlog” = video blog. So, is it possible to become a blogging geek and if so, I suppose it would mean you would slowly build a name for yourself in the respective field you were blogging within.
Do I qualify as geeking out through my teaching blog and the time I spend on Twitter? If we look at it through this diagram, the formula seems to be:
‘geek’ = obsession + intelligence
I suppose it really depends on whether or not you would define ‘obsession‘ in this instance as a positive or a negative thing. I think that personally, I’d like to change this word to ‘passion’, and then I would definitely say that I could be considered a geek, especially when I spend hours on these passions without even realizing how much time has passed!
This section of the reading mentions a ‘YouTube-er’ Frank, who says:
“But then even when you get one good comment, that makes up for 50 mean comments, ’cause it’s just the fact of knowing that someone else out there liked your videos and stuff, and it doesn’t really matter about everyone else that’s criticized you” (Patricia Lange, YouTube and Video Bloggers).
This is something I personally related to through not only the comments I started recieving on my blog as I posted more lessons and ideas I had tried in my classroom, but also within my Twitter experience. I find that there are some weekends I will be on and off of Twitter almost all day, clicking on links and reading about new ways teachers are integrating technology into their classrooms. Have you ever found yourself with 20 tabs open all to pages you’ve clicked on from Twitter? I have…I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing! Everytime I find a new app or idea I’ve never tired, it then leads me to spend even more time exploring it, doing further research, and figuring out if it’ll be a good fit for my classroom or not. All of this effort then eventually loops back around because whenever I’ve successfuly tried something new, I blog about it. Postitive comments, the number of views a particular post gets, or even the new followers I recieve on Twitter as a result of my blog posts, all give me a sense of validation, that somone out there appreciates my ideas.
So how is COETAIL influencing my thinking and teaching so far?
After reading the post about our assignments and readings for this week, there was mention of our final UbD lesson plan. So I ended up reading through all the rest of the posts for course 1 and looking at all the rubrics and resources available. I’ve also seen a few examples of lessons from past COETAILers. All of this has challenged and motivated me to try to find a way to integrate technology into the curriclum that is more meaningful. There are lots of apps out there that I get excited about trying with my students, and in an early childhood classroom, the very fact that kids can independently record their voices and take videos to show their learning and understanding is valuable.
Things I value about having technology in the early childhood classroom:
- Children who can’t read or write yet can share and capture their thinking
- Global education: kids have access to people and places that are beyond the classroom walls
- Kids can share their work with people all over the world too!
- It’s a pretty good assessment tool when I as the teacher can go back and listen to pieces they’ve made. They can also self-assess and decide if they want to change or edit something.
However, I’ve more recently pushed myself to think of ways to have my students use technology as a tool to research, and collect information. How can I use technology as a tool/resource to find and/or collect information with the children that otherwise I wouldn’t be able to collect. This idea has really excited me and I’ve already got a few projects brewing in my head for my kids to try out! Does this qualify me as geeking out as a teacher? Or am I still messing around? I’m not sure…
This brings me back to a thought I had while reading. The fact that we are all here, signed up for COETAIL, ‘messing around’ and setting up our blogs. Some of us signing up for Twitter for the first time. Does that not mean that all of us, a community of COETAIL bloggers (and tweeters!) are on our own little path to geekdom?
I mean, yes, we are all on a course and aren’t doing this just because we enjoy blogging but also have certain requirements to meet. However, I’ve read blog posts about how people have spent hours getting their blog headers just right, along with the appearance of the rest of their site and really enjoying it…well, that’s just passion! In my eyes, it seems to be a perfect formula, leading a path straight to geek town. So, perhaps the COETAIL instructors have some sort of hidden agenda here…to ensure that by the end of all of this we are all full-fledged COETAIL GEEKS! Ha! 🙂