Monday, July 14, 2008

Using technology to build community

Technology is a powerful tool for hooking people together -- for building community. I'm collecting ideas for projects that our students could do that will

(a) include talking to people in the neighborhood and/or investigating the Dvorak neighborhood's environment

(b) include reflecting on and analyzing the information collected

(c) include assembling the research and analysis into a presentation that can be shared via the Internet.

For example, the students could collect an oral history from our neighborhood's elders, and create a library of podcasts.

Or students can do a survey of plants and animals in the neighborhood and build a website of the natural history of North Lawndale.


Post your ideas!


Ideas for using technology at Dvorak

Do you have ideas about how we can use new technologies at Dvorak? Computers in the classrooms, digital cameras and audio recorders, blogs and wikis, MySpace, websites...

The list of possibilities is long. I'd like to hear your ideas.


My educational philosophy

I believe that everyone is capable of learning. We are human beings. Because we are human beings, we have a brain. Except is rare cases, because we have a brain we can think. Because we have a brain, we can think. Because we can think, we can learn, we can figure things out, we can create. And because we can do these things, we are all capable of doing great things.

I believe that education is both a right and a responsibility. We are social beings. Part of being social means educating our children. As part of the community, our children have a right to be educated. But with education also comes the responsibility to give back to the community. We have the responsibility to take our learning and apply it to making our communities and our planet better places.

While every child can learn, I also understand that each child is unique. Each child has his or her own way of learning. As an educator, it is my responsibility to help that child be successful in the classroom. Learning should be a joy.

I believe that technology has a place in the classroom, but it should never be more than just a tool. Technology should help the student learn, period. And so it is important to recognize where it has a proper place, and where it doesn't. It must never be an end in itself, and certainly never get in the way of learning. Technology is not a magic bullet that will solve all of our educational problems. It can, however, be a powerful tool to help children learn and think, to learn important new skills, and to help them express themselves in creative new ways.

Your comments will be appreciated...