I remember when my family got our first computer. It was bulky – as an adult I wouldn’t even be able to rap my arms around it all the way. It was small-screened. And it was a very big deal. I can also remember the first time I ever used the internet. I was in the 5th grade and I had no idea what Google even was. My life has never been dictated by technology – I grew up without internet, video games, and barely any TV at home. Because of this, I’ve never been as digitally fluent as most of my classmates. So, when I found out that I had to take Digital Literacy, I was apprehensive. I would have to use technology? I try to use technology as little as possible. Surprisingly (and thankfully) no assignment was too overwhelming. There were ones that challenged me to a point that I wasn’t sure I could finish them, but each time I did. The assignments that come to mind that I felt I was the most innovative were the first daily create I completed and the Devil’s Tower video I made for a different daily create. I learned from George Couros’ article, “The Mindset of an Innovator” (http://georgecouros.ca/blog/archives/5216) that innovation in learning is trying what makes you nervous and/or brainstorming for your most creative idea and challenging yourself to go through with it. Couros wrote in his article that an innovator is dedicated to the “creation of new and better ideas” and that an innovator “focus[es] not only on where [they] can improve, but where [they are] already strong, and [they] look to develop those strengths in [themselves] and in others.” With both of the above-mentioned daily creates, I felt like I did just that. As a student, I always try to be innovative. When I become a teacher, I hope to do the same.
Since beginning college, I have had to unlearn what school is. My k-12 experience was structured and rigid. I was given assignments, given rubrics, and given a grade based on how well I followed the rubric. But in my education classes, I’ve been shown the light. If a student can follow directions like a robot, does that mean they’re smart? Not necessarily; it means they’re trained. In digital literacy, I continued to learn that I don’t need directions that specifically lay out what I need to exactly do. I don’t need 10 examples with the expectation that my project will look the same. This semester I continued to unlearn what education should look like.
What I still need to learn about teaching, however, is how I personally will keep up with technology and utilize technology in my future classroom. There are so many new programs, new updates, and new uses for technology around. I personally don‘t have the desire to spend time each day finding out what’s trending, what’s new, and what I should be using. I’m old-fashioned, and I worry that that will serve as a disadvantage. So where do I go from here? Perhaps I’ll change. But if I do stay the same, my plan is to use a variety of tech, but use a set of tech that I have gotten comfortable with. For example, I will definitely be using Canva and Piktograph again. The more I use these tools, the easier they will become. As I begin mastering my first set of tech, I can add on to it. I hope that my list will be a fairly solid one by the time I’ve started teaching.
This summer I was most surprised by my ability to do almost every one of the daily creates. Looking back, there were two days out of the twenty that I chose to look for a different daily create. Once it was because I didn’t like what the challenge was and the other time was because I couldn’t figure out how to do it. I was also surprised by how much I enjoyed doing the daily creates. I would like to implement something like this in my classroom someday. I probably could even use some of the challenges from ds106!
Who would have thought that I would have gone from not even knowing what Google is 10 years ago to creating this:
Quite an improvement from 5th grade, eh?