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:

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! 🙂


5 Responses

  1. Hi Pana – a very thoughtful blog post, I am certainly with you on the 20+ tabs open from links from Twitter! How do you store all this information, revisit it, act on it? I use Evernote at the moment with extensive tagging and like you I find so much to refer back. I think people like us need to continue our exploring but choose the one thing we want to take further and do that well. Once that becomes mastered, integrated or successfully implemented (or not as the case may be!) then we can move on to introducing or piloting another. Over the years there are a selection of apps or strategies that I find work that add to depending on whether i want to shake things up a bit or just change the focus. Of course we want to do everything but it is just not feasible! Maybe this forum is a place to share our one best app/strategy/use of technology in the classroom. At a recent PLN meeting at my school, my group is sharing ideas for integrating technology and peer learning for AFL and it is wonderful hearing what teachers are doing and how this works in their subject area.
    I would love to work with you on visualising learning for these students who can’t read or write. It is my passion and it would be fabulous to see it work for such young kids. I’d like to connect you also with 2 Twitterites who work with Elementary kids: Keri-Lee Beasley (https://twitter.com/klbeasley UWCSEA) and Jocelyn (https://twitter.com/JKSuth Sinamas Academy). Jocelyn works with EAL students so there may be some strategies she uses that should be adapted hopefully. I look forward to hearing how your ideas evolve and I’m happy to help on the visual side of things if you want. Have a great Sunday!

    1. Hi Nicki, sorry it’s taken me a while to reply to this comment, when I recieved it I was in transit from HK back to Taipei and was tweeting you through choppy wifi at the lounge in the airport!

      Thanks for connecting me to two new people on twitter! Always looking for great people to share ideas with 🙂 Now, regarding the 20 tabs, I don’t use any system really…unless you can call chaos a system? I tend to leave them open till I read them, Evernote seems to be a good option for keeping things all in one place! I’ll explore that, thanks!

      Ok so talk to me more about your ideas about possibilities on how we can collaborate. I like the idea of having an art expert (you!) at my fingertips and one who is integrating tech too! You’ve definitely intrigued me. Right now I use a lot of apps like Educreations, Doodlecast Pro and Explain Everthing to get the kids to demonstrate their learning. To share their learning with a wider audience, our class has an instagram account and we also use Easy Blog Jr. as I mentioned in my comment on your post. If you have other ideas I would love to hear about them! 🙂 Tweet me ANYTIME with an idea you may want to try out together and we can do it!

  2. Hi Pana

    Loving your posts. I love the fact that the tech we use in Grade 1 we need. We could not make those connections or learn without this technology. For me it comes down to time investment. When I find a an App by accident I always start with a backwards approach, as most teacher I think – how can I use this piece of tech to enhance learning.

    We cant wait for the Teddy Bear!!

    1. Hi Jay,

      Thanks! Yes, I began my journey with tech in the classroom just really using it to present things in a “fancier” way as I went through different apps and tools (substitution). I think that this is the point in my journey where I am becoming more thoughful about whether or not it is enhancing the learning in some way; Could the same thing be accomplished without tech? I think that this thought process has really helped me to integrate technology in more meaningful ways. I hope that it will continue to lead me in the right direction! 🙂

      Teddy seems to be having some great adventures so far! It is really exciting to see this project take off, glad that you could be a part of it!

  3. I had to laugh, (and comment) about the open tabs thing …… I’ve graduated from not only having 20+ tabs open, to now having said tabs open plus 3-4 new windows each with similar amount of tabs open on them too …….. now I wonder why my browser keeps crashing?!!

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