By: Guest Blogger – Rhonda Carrier
The following are some notes from the Interactive Connections Conference and from the Florida Educational Technology Conference. I have not had a chance to visit all of the websites but thought I would pass on those that were highly recommended.
The Interactive Connections conference organized by Sister Caroline was a wonderful gathering of Catholics learning about the use of and implementation of technology to develop and expand our Catholic faith communities. Many of those attending the Interactive conference stayed to attend FETC but we gathered together each evening as a Catholic group for fellowship and to compare notes and ideas from the day.
Bishop Noonan’s Welcome on Sister Caroline Cerveny’s Cyberpilgrim’s Blog
Fr. Larry Rice’s Keynote and summary of the crises facing the Catholic Church: On the Catholic Couponer’s Blog. Although many of the comments on the blog focus on the use of technology during mass, Fr. Rice’s message included using technology to extend our Catholic communities. He suggested that we put the bulletin online rather than printing so it can be accessed at any time; allow online discussions so there is two-way communication and not just a one-way push of information; use online databases to gather information; allow online donations and contributions without the need of a signed piece of paper; translate publications into appropriate languages and make them available online; etc. He recommended that we read the book from Gutenberg to Zuckerberg.
You may wish to review the Media Timeline that Fr. Larry shared with us Monday evening
- Most of the workshop presentations are located at IC 2012 Learning Sessions. I suggest that you take a look at and join the Digital Catechisis that she organizes. Join in the conversations and pick up ideas for use in your classes.
- Another book to consider reading is Brandon Vogt’s The Church and New Media.
Keynote: Michael Wesh, Anthropologist, spoke about the need to move students past being knowledgeable to being knowledge-able which means we need to help them develop their knowledge-ability. We must find ways to inspire them and to bring them to wonder. He said, “A great teacher can bring life into anything. A great teacher can bring wonder into anything. A question inspires wonder and inspires ideas. A question is: a Quest for mastery, Embraces our vulnerability, Invites connections”
- Wonder flourishes where there in inspiration and where they feel safe.
- Quest for mastery requires freedoms to learn
- Vulnerability requires Freedom to fail
- Connections require Freedom to love
Empathy is lower than in the past. We see birth and death and life intimately and daily because we live in a “capsular civilization ” with TV, phone, computer. We are numbing ourselves, which also numbs ourselves to joy. But there is a solution, the media are not just tools, they’re a means of communication. They mediate how we relate. (This brought me back to Fr. Rice’s message to use technology to communicate and to build communities.)
View From Knowledgeable to Knowledge-able, an 18-minute video and a short version on TED, of the topic he presented at FETC.
Heidi Hayes Jacobs, President of Curriculum Designers, Inc, presented a keynote session and a breakout session. I attended a workshop of hers several years ago, so was delighted to have a chance to say “hello”. (I have used her curriculum map concepts to organize curriculum since then. The Curriculum by Design presentation that I did for ICS that referenced her work is available for viewing on Slideshare.)
At FETC she asked the following questions:
- How can we prepare students for the future?
- Who owns the learning? Do students?
- 12% of the 21st century is over and students are time traveling. They have 21st century at home but 20th century at school. What year are we preparing student for?
We need to help students with the following:
- Social production – Example: Wikipedia
- Social networking – Example: Curriculum21.com
- Semantic web – At least once a teaching unit, it should be upgraded with a new resource. Have a faculty meeting that just allows teachers to experiment and share new technology. Examples: Tag Galaxy (Enter a word such as childhood, then click on a bubble to go deeper – Wordle.net (creates word clouds) – Zooburst (digital storytelling pop-up books) – Visual Thesaurus
- Digital literacy – related to media literacy – related to global literacy. Examples: Check out Earth Pulse website on national geographic – Gap minder – Museum Box to replace dioramas –
- Global literacy – Brazil has a huge growing economy and middle class. Also Russia and India and China. We don’t study geo enough, we must also study geo literature, geo politics, geo economics. Example: World Mapper (this one is a wow!) -
I was happy to finally meet Kathy Schrock, whose work I have followed and used for many years. Her website is the basis for a large portion of the research model that I use with our students. View Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Almost Everything.
A few other good website to check out are:
- Creative Commons for information about what art and music can be legally used
- Rushton’s Resources Powerful and Free Resources for Teachers and Students
- Next Vista for Learning – An online library of free videos for learners everywhere
- CK-12 for flex books – Can download books and customize
- Recommended list of apps for education