So among other things today I was asked by my administrator to help to create a tech curriculum for this coming school year. Of course I jumped at the chance.
We used to have a tech class that went by the wayside in budget cuts with our industrial arts program, consumer and family science program, and several sports and clubs. I'm glad such a vital set of skills is going to be taught directly again.
The question is, where do you start? I teach in a district diverse in its student population. Gauging the technological skills and ability to use applications and other Web 2.0 technologies in my students will be tough.
Some have no typing skills, understanding of basic Windows concepts, and cannot even save a file on their own. Some have more know-how than I do. It's a wide range of children to attempt to meet and engage.
So of course I immediately with to my PLN on Twitter and am hoping for ideas there. While I wait, I also took a look at the NETS Standards, which can be found here:
The six standards are at least a jumping off point to designing a curriculum. For each school or program, expectations are going to be different. Our kids will get two 30-minute blocks a day for "tech" instruction.
I would despise it if this class became Keyboarding 101 or educational website playtime. That's not a tech class. Technology changes, revolutionizes, enhances, and inspires. It's how we communicate globally, and built civilization. It is how we are going to continue to cure cancer, solve environmental problems, and continue to improve society.
Your wpm or how many math problems you got right on the latest math game website will not do those things. We need to teach how to use today's tools to make tomorrow's tools. We need to know how to share our ideas about the past and the present to get new ideas for the future. We need to learn what we can do to help what has been done.
Digital citizenship is the starting point. Our job as teachers is to guide students as we educate them. Using technology and social media in positive ways has to be considered. If we can make progress in this area, there is going to be less resistance to other tech initiatives such as 1:1 and Bring Your Own Device.
Here are some resources I found to get me started with that:
Digital Citizenship 2
Digital Citizenship 3
I want to give kids access and the ability to use tools to learn in new ways, not just type up their report for me a little bit faster. Who knows, we may need them to use some advanced tech to save our life someday as opposed to typing up our death certificate just a tiny bit faster.
Keeping thinking, keep laughing, keep learning. Have fun and teach kids.