Crossing the Chasm

#edtech #edchat

Two days ago while I was stuck in the Managua, Nicaragua airport desperately trying to find a book to read for the flights back home to Colorado, I decided to check the blog at Atomic Learning which it when I came across a post by Kristi Gottwalt about a new book:

Are you dreading implantation of your organization’s latest technology updates? There may be help for you in the book “Crossing the Chasm” by Geoffrey A. Moore. The book is intended for organizations that market and sell “disruptive” products to mainstream customers. While your organization may not be selling in a traditional sense, advice from experts may be the key to get your team onboard with a new technology implementation.

What does it mean to cross the chasm? The theory indicates there are several different types of people when it comes to technology adoption. Innovators and Early Adopters embrace change. In the bell curve of technology adoption, there is then a chasm. This is the home of failed technology implementations. If the chasm can be crossed, the remaining characters on the technology adoption life cycle will accept technology change.

I downloaded the book to my Kindle app on my iPad and started to read it while waiting for my flight to board. By the time my section was called I was already mad. I was mad about this book because I could have used this information years ago!

- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke Elementary School

(The photo is of a little girl I met in the market in Granada, she told me I speak Spanish like a baby.)

Educational Technology Bill of Rights for Students

#edtech #edchat #elemchat

The following are what I believe are the rights of all student to have with regards to using technology as an educational tool, written as a student to their teacher:

  1. I have the right to use my own technology at school. I should not be forced to leave my new technology at home to use (in most cases) out-of-date school technology. If I can afford it, let me use it -- you don’t need to buy me one. If I cannot afford it, please help me get one -- I don’t mind working for it.
  2. I have the right to access the school’s WiFi. Stop blaming bandwidth, security or whatever else -- if I can get on WiFi at McDonalds, I think that I should be able to get online at school.
  3. I have the right to submit digital artifacts that prove my understanding of a subject, regardless of whether or not my teacher knows what they are. Just because you have never heard of Prezi, Voki, or Glogster, doesn’t mean that I should not be able to use these tools to prove to you that I understand what you are teaching me.
  4. I have the right to cite Wikipedia as one of the sources that I use to research a subject. Just because you believe the hype that Wikipedia is full of incorrect information,  doesn’t mean that it is true -- besides we all use it anyways (including you). I am smart enough to verify what I find online to be the truth.
  5. I have the right to access social media at school. It is where we all live, it is how we communicate -- we do not use email, or call each other. We use Facebook, Twitter and texting to talk to each other. Teachers and schools should take advantage of this and post announcements and assignments using social media -- you will get better results.
  6. I have the right to be taught by teachers who know how to manage the use technology in their classrooms. These teachers know when to use technology and when to put it away. They understand that I need to be taught how to balance my life between the online and offline worlds. They do not throw the techno-baby out with the bath water.
  7. I have the right to be taught by teachers who teach me and demand that I use 21st Century Skills. Someday I am going to need a job -- please help me be employable.
  8. I have the right to be assessed with technology. I love the instant feedback of testing done technology. I live in a world of instant feedback, so to find out a couple of weeks later that I didn’t understand your lesson, drive me crazy. If you were a video game, no one would play you -- your feedback is too slow.
  9. I have the right to be protected from technology. I don’t want to be cyberbullied, hurt, scared or find crud online that I would rather not find. Please help me use technology responsibly and safely. Please stay up-to-date with this kind of information, and teach me to make good choices. I am not you and we don’t see eye to eye about what to put online, but help me to meet you in the middle.
  10. I have the right to be taught by teachers that know their trade. They are passionate about what they do and embrace the use of technology to help me learn. They attend trainings and practice what they learn. They are not afraid to ask for my help; they might know more than me about the Civil War, but I know Glogster like nobody’s business.

This is a work in progress, please comment below on what to add or change.

- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke Elementary

Summer 2011 To Do List

#edtech #elearning #elemchat I got into teaching for a number of different reasons, one of which was to have my summers off to lay around and do nothing. I have been teaching for over 13 years and I never had a summer off, but I keep my fingers crossed that one summer it will happen.

Instead, like many teachers I spend my summers getting ready for the following school year. I revise lessons, attend conferences and training and basically spend every day trying to be better at what I do -- teach children technology.  

Training

Being a tech teacher I have the added pressure of keeping up with new technology. I never want my work to be stale so I spend a lot of time each summer learning how to do something new with technology. So I am sure that I will be stending a lot of time in my Atomic Learning account learning some new tech skills from their tutorials and workshops. This summer I plan on learning how to do stop-frame animation so that I can teach my students how to animate LEGO next fall. http://www.brickfilms.com/

Reading

This summer I plan to read two books; The Death and Life of the Great American School by Diane Revitch and Teach like a Champion by Doug Lemov.

Conferences

PODSTOCK: Although I have never attended before, I am really looking forward to attending this smaller conference. I think that these people are most like who I am or who I want to be as a tech teacher. http://podstock.ning.com/

ISTE: This is the big one and this year it is in Philly. Although I love most everything about this big daddy of edtech conferences, what I really like about ISTE actually takes place the day before. It is called EduBloggerCon and it where I get to rub shoulders with other people who do what I do. Blogger and podcasters that are the Who's Who of educational technology. http://www.edubloggercon.com/EduBloggerCon+2011

Who knows, maybe next summer will be the one that I will take off and relax, meanwhile I will continue my pursuit of better edtech lessons for my students.