I have been thinking a great deal about technology lately - more specifically about the role that technology does/should play in education. I was asked recently how I would assess the effectiveness of technology in raising student achievement and was uncharacteristically stumped for a bit. I am not sure that we can attribute increases in student achievement to the use of technology alone because there are so many other things that might happen at the same time as the technology use: a change in teacher pedagogy, increased student voice and choice, increased collaboration, increased motivation (teacher and student) - I could go on and on.
I have been thinking about the increase in my own technology literacy over the past few years. I recently unearthed the typewriter I used in college (yes - a typewriter!). What was super duper cool about this typewriter was that it stored almost a paragraph's worth of work before I hit a key and it typed it out onto the paper. The beauty of this gadget was that I didn't have to fight with the crazy eraser tape when I made mistakes or wanted to edit. What a change from the way that I do business now!!
While that might be a giant leap for mankind - I have made even greater leaps just this past year. Previously a person who could not wrap their head around Twitter - I am now "twitterpated" and get very frustrated at some glitches that have been happening lately. I also start to think that something is wrong when I don't hear what Angela is doing around the house, how the Yankees are doing from Brian or how boot camp was for Jenn. I get updates on my phone and via the web just to stay in touch using 140 words or less.
I think that speaks to the power of my personal learning networks - whether Twitter or Ning or del.icio.us or (gasp!) in person - I learn better with others. Is it the technology that has increased my learning this past year or is it the network that happened as a result of the technology?
I am not sure that I have an answer - but through my network I learned about a very cool technology tool that allows me to reflect on what I have been interested in learning and reading by creating an image that reflects my del.icio.us tags:
Here is the challenge - using Wordle (or any other tool) how you would capture what you have been learning over the past year? Tag - you are it!