Drive home reflections of my first time introducing weblogs to high school students. Lots of questions and frustrations.
I heard John Kuglin last year at FETC and although Google Earth wasn’t available then, he was demonstrating some other satellite technology and sparked my interest and love of geography. This year, John spent his session demonstrating Google Earth. While there wasn’t much there I didn’t already know, I was enjoying the “oohs and aaaws” of the several hundred attendees many of whom had never seen or heard of Google Earth.
I liked the title of his session: Smart Stories Smart Locations. The word “stories” and “conversations” may well have been the most used words at the conference which is fine by me. John not only showcased the amazing power and features of Google Earth but laid out an invitation to use it to tell stories. It might not seem like a natural fit but it really does have that potential. John continually pointed out the ability to discover tools and features not listed in any manual and that much of the potential of Google Earth is yet to be discovered but will be discovered by those willing to hack.
I think I understand how competitive the news business is in trying to get out stories before the other guy. As far as I can tell I’m at least the 4th one to talk about this event. But I have something the others do not; Audio. Although the quality is not your Savvy Technologist standard but if you want to sit in with the likes of Wes Fryer, Will Richardson, Tim Wilson, Rob Mancabelli and others this might be for you.
In the article, Professor Entman says:
“My main concern was they were focusing on trying to transcribe every word that was I saying, rather than thinking and analyzing,“ Entman said Monday. “The computers interfere with making eye contact. You’ve got this picket fence between you and the students.“
Sounds like a management issue here. You can argue all day whether students should be more focused, whether they should be handwriting, the reality is the notebook is here and by trying to ban or restrict technology you are not addressing the more important question of how to take advantage of it. It’s often about engagment. If the professor is not engaging, students will find things that are more engaging. If the concern is about thinking and analyzing, there are many ways to facilitate that online as well.
Banning technology is always the easiest solution but it’s usually not the best.
Here’s a response from one student:
… Read the rest
“If we continue without laptops, I’m out of here. I’m gone; I won’t be able to keep up,“ said student Cory Winsett, who said his hand-written notes are incomplete