As my colleague and I have prepared for our presentation tomorrow I have had the opportunity to reflect on my own thoughts about technology. In some ways I am no stranger to technology. My step-mother was programming computers before PCs even existed. She taught me BASIC when I was in elementary school. I used to chat on irc (does anybody even remember what that is/was?) and I regularly frequented bbs's (bulletin boards). I remember when the move was first made away from dos - I was upset because now people who didn't know anything about computers would still be able to use them.
But for all that I'm not technologically savvy. I have never cared to learn more than I absolutely needed to know at that exact moment. And, for the most part, I have not used technology in my classroom. Basically, it boils down to the learning curve. I find that I do not have much free time, and the time that I have I am loathe to spend figuring out something else that may or may not work. :)
My colleague and I were discussing Web 2.0 and all the collaborative tools it offers. And I just lit up. I have found new colleagues, some on the other side of the globe, and suddenly I am not an isolated teacher in my classroom anymore. A student asks me a question, and where before my answer would have been I don't know, now I can add but let me ask somebody. And within minutes I have an answer. As I was reading Harry Potter I came across two terms I was unfamiliar with (well that I thought may have been misused - there were many terms I was unfamiliar with!) and from around the world came responses: one was most certainly a mistranslation, while apparently the other was not. I have even met local friends and mentors.
Yes, there has been a small learning curve. No, I'm not the world's most savvy wiki user/blogger/moodler :) But, from my perspective here in a small corner of the universe, the benefits are amazing.
Now, here's hoping that the technology all works tomorrow and that I don't make a complete fool of myself. :)
3 days ago