Let me take you back to the 90’s… My first memories of technology. I will never forget when my family first got dial up internet. We had this massive, heavy, pixelated view computer. Back then, this was the dream. I could finally play more games, talk to my friends online instead of calling, and download music. One of the first games I can recall playing was whyville! Everyone at school who had dial up internet would set a time after school to meet online to play together. Following this came the big MSN and ICQ. These were game changers for making plans with friends. I was able to connect with students from other schools and talk with my friends more often after school and on the weekends. Now this is when I first began the “texting” lingo. My parents would set timers for how long my sister and I could play on the computer because they never knew when to expect an important phone call. Whenever our time was up my mom would yell from the top of the stairs “G2G” (Got to go). If we didn’t get off right away she would come right into the computer room and type G2G on whatever msn conversation we were on. This is where I started to type incorrect words/phrases such as: how r u, ttyl, asl, lol, etc. I found this article 17 things you’ll only remember if you were an MSN Messenger addict and it hit home. It reminded me of how I used the internet most as a child.
Secondly, my memory recalls having a cell phone at the end of grade 8.It was a beautiful audiovox and I was only allowed to text a certain amount of times in a month because my parents paid for by bill. Texts were ten cents and I think my cell phone bill was around $20 a month. It became more of a safety thing so if I was out with friends, my parents could contact me and vice versa.
Fast forward to where we are now. Technology is a part of our lives every day. As teachers we use our devices to communicate, use social media just as our students are. Technology is here to enhance our lives. So why not embrace it? So many teachers are tired of cell phones and want to ban them. I understand in some cases, but rather, why don’t we as twenty-first century teachers take the initiative to teach our students how to use them appropriately. Not only can we teach them the skills but we can also help them by skillfully integrating technology in our classrooms. It would be…
- Students would learn how to navigate websites and use it properly (fake news, citing sources)
- Critical for future careers
- Access information online
- Enhanced learning
- Skype classroom – location can change perspective, allow for reduce cost instead of bringing in a guest speaker/travel time
- Teachable moments about appropriate use of tech!
As educators we are the future. If we implement skills early on to enhance student learning by using technology we can set students up with the right skills to be an innovative and creative thinker.