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An Early Think-About: What’s Your Top 5 Wish List?

Posted by: | May 29, 2008 | 11 Comments |

What’s on your Top 5 wish list for new technologies you want to bring into your school/district? Even if your wish isn’t really a “technology,” please leave your list in the comments. I’ll post results soon.

My Top 5 (in no particular order):

1. Skype

2. An unfiltered internet connection for all– or a less restrictive filtering policy.

3. The opportunity to help others see that technology is a tool, not an extra to teach– and that using this tool could help students demonstrate proficiencies differently. Additionally, students might be able to think more critically, creatively, and digitally if given the chance to learn in “their own world.”

4. Wikis, Nings, more teacher blogs, and other social-networking-collaboration options. I use them constantly for my own work, but I don’t think we have enough people taking advantage of these fabulous tools! (for some, it’s a policy thing)

5. The chance for our students to participate in something like Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsey‘s Flat Classroom Project!

under: Monthly Think-About
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11 Comments

  1. By: Josh Allen on May 29, 2008 at 7:41 pm      Reply

    My 5 are generally the same. I would love to do your #5, but I’ve got some other training to do make it work their time and mine. And #2 I don’t really have to worry about. I would add use of iPods to my list. I think I also had Twitter down as something to introduce when I tweeted you the other day.

  2. By: Michelle Baldwin on May 29, 2008 at 8:10 pm      Reply

    Hey, Josh!

    Via Twitter, you had: 1 Twitter 2 Diigo/Delicious 3 Skype 4 iPods 5 (more) interactive whiteboard lessons

    Outside of the filtering issues, I think our “clientele” — their skills, attitudes, aptitudes– are very similar.

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. By: Ian H. on May 30, 2008 at 12:17 am      Reply

    1. Twitter (or something like it) that would allow students to post questions & answers to the IWB from their cellphones.
    2. Online file repository – students are continually asking me to e-mail them their projects, since our filtering software blocks every web-based e-mail site. Audacity project files take a long time to e-mail out at 5MB/e-mail.
    3. Forum software. Most forums are blocked by the district’s filtering software, but students more and more are choosing asynchronous conversation over synchronous (IM vs. voice), so having a venue for class discussions that are not bound by time would be great.
    4. Cellphones. Every student has one, I just wish I could think of a good way to leverage their power to help enhance rather than distract from course material.
    5. Pervasive wifi. We have a protected, security-certificate-based wireless network that teacher laptops can connect to, but my ideal classroom would include students working from Nintendo DSes and Sony PSPs and iPod Touches… but that can’t happen until we set up a parallel wireless network for students.

  4. By: Michelle Baldwin on May 30, 2008 at 1:25 am      Reply

    Great “wishes,” Ian!
    We’re lucky that we adopted (and paid) for Gaggle, which gives every student email, blog, chat, social profile, and a digital locker… and that’s what a lot of teachers are using for the online repository. It’s web-based, so the kids can access from home, too.

    I especially wish the same as you with #4-the cell phones. So many of our students have them, regardless of socioeconomic status… wish we could use their potential!

    Thanks for your thoughts!

  5. By: Ian H. on May 30, 2008 at 7:52 am      Reply

    We have Gaggle, too (it must be a reduced version, though – we’ve only got the e-mail part). There are so many connectivity issues that it’s not usable for the classes my students need it most – media production.

  6. By: Chris on May 31, 2008 at 9:19 am      Reply

    Great question:

    1) Filters that only blocked pornnography, nothing else.

    2) Consistent, dedicated professional learning communities (that are honored by administration) around the use of technology professionally and pedagogically.

    3) 1-1 Laptops initiative for staff and students.

    4) School board / Administration support (financial and political) of technology use across K-12 curriculums. A “Chief Technology Officer” perhaps?

    5) Google Apps for Education set up for all staff/students.

  7. By: Michelle Baldwin on May 31, 2008 at 10:51 am      Reply

    Ian: sounds like another “wish” for you would be better connectivity for students, too!

    Chris: Great list!! I especially like 2 and 4, as I feel that’s where a lot of us need help. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. By: harju on May 31, 2008 at 9:00 pm      Reply

    My Wish List, as it is today…
    1. SMARTboards and the accompanying doc cameras, classroom response systems. Tools like this help teachers change the way they teach. I agree with your comment about having teachers see technology as a tool, not 30 minute class periods once or twice a week.
    2. Laptop cart(s) for classroom use. It is difficult to share one computer lab with an entire school and 1 computer in the classroom is not enough. (With a wirelss school network, and I agree with filter only the bad stuff -( this post was just rejected because I used a different word for “bad stuff”)
    3. SKYPE – (I agree with your choice here) bring the world into our classroom — so much potential
    4. I agree with more social networking. I use a blog and wiki, but have been unable to convince others of the need for this. I have discovered nings and see great things for these as well.
    5. Administrators who get it. See technology as a Important/Major budget item, not an extra. They provide for excellent professional development and these administrators are using this technology themselves. Administrators who read your classroom blogs and comment!

  9. By: Michelle Baldwin on June 1, 2008 at 2:22 am      Reply

    Hi, harju!

    I really like how you explained all your wishes– especially “administrators who get it” and are using it themselves! It’s difficult to get approval/support, etc. with those who don’t understand.

    Thanks for commenting!

  10. By: Travis Wood on June 15, 2008 at 8:26 pm      Reply

    Here’s a wish list… from an elementary teacher. Sorry it is lengthly!

    1- More parents interest- My students used classblogmeister for much of this past school year. I sent multiple e-mails (and hard copies in backpacks) asking them to read and comment on their student’s work. I did not get much of a response at all. I do not think parents understand that their comments (especially if they go beyond ‘nice blog’) really drive the students motivation and care for writing.

    2- A class set of iPods (I could settle for 5 if I had to). Being an elementary teacher, one of my goals is to get my students excited about reading. Among many other uses the iPods would be an excellent way to share read alouds. The kids could listen to professionally recorded books, books read my myself, or (probably the most powerful) books read by their peers.

    3- A set of laptops for my room. I don’t need one per student, but a few in addition to the two desktops in my room would allow my students who really are into publishing their thoughts the opportunity to do so more frequently.

    4- More opportunities to connect with classrooms, experts, etc. through Skype. My class made friends with class 500 miles away this year through blogs and a few Skype calls. It was an awesome, powerful experience. It would be so cool to connect with scientists when kids have great science questions or to an author that the class is reading.

    5- More opportunities to investigate new tools to use in the classroom. I was lucky to be chosen to be part of a Technology Vision Team (TVT) this year. We had 4 days of release time and during that time we experimented with ‘right now’ tools (wikis, blogs, etc.) and ‘someday tools’ (video gaming and Second Life). This was a great experience because I was able to sit on a team with about 15 excellent teachers, at all levels, and bounce ideas around. I’d have to stay up all night by myself for a month to equal the amount of learning in only 1 day of working with the TVT.

  11. By: Michelle Baldwin on June 26, 2008 at 10:17 am      Reply

    Hey, Travis! 1, 4, and 5 should be on my list, too! Especially 1… since I’m not really in the classroom anymore, it’s difficult for me to be much of an influence there. However, I am also a parent of a student in the same school district where I work, so I suppose my advocacy should come from that direction.

    Great list!

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