Trailers/Initial Impressions

December 7, 2009 at 4:47 am (Digital Humanities, Thoughts on the Profession) (, )

I took a look at four of the trailers for internet “workshops” from the “Bridgin the Divide” conference. They can be found here: http://k12online.ning.com/video/video

The teasers/trailers varied in their approaches. “Little Kids, Big Possibilities,” for instance, more or less just showed some cool looking web 2.0 things that, I’m led to assume, were created by kids. A little intriguing, but perhaps too sparse to reel me in.

“Slippery Rocks and Hard Places” was a little different. This trailer hinted that there are 12 “critical bridges” in 21st Century learning. Though I don’t know quite what this means (how could I, it’s a 1 minute teaser), this trailer’s use of “vauge-specifics” (my own term) piqued my interest.

“A Peek for A Week” seemed to cover familiar ground, essentially saying that kids can do terrific things given a week of computer access and a creative teacher. I’m interested in what they actually did, but I’m skeptical it’ll be more stuff like “Wordle,” which, in my experience, is the stupidest waste of time teachers can use and still claim to be using new technology to reinvigorate the classroom. I hope there’s some more substance here.

Finally, the “Learning Confluence” trailer made it fairly easy to get the thrust of the workshop. The idea of an intense confluence of philosophy and practice between educational experts seems promising, if also a little dry.

At this point, I’m leaning towards attending the “Little Kids, Big Possibilities,” and “A Peek for A Week” workshops. Though I shared some skepticism about both of these choices above, I chose them because they focus on actual students doing things with technology. I’m really eager to see helpful ways teachers do this, and also eager to identify what I see as unhelpful or simply stupid technology (Wordle, for instance, holds no academic or learning value you that I can see–and I’m pretty artistic!).

I’m looking forward to it, and i’ll let you know my impressions.

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