Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A 21st Century Canadian Student

In a recent technology class I was introduced to Google Plus and all of the pluses Google offers. Google is no longer just a search engine, but rather an all service tool. Calendar, e-mail, circles, documents, scholar are just a few of what Google has to offer. Google has become a revolutionary tool. I believe this revolution will begin in the field of education.
A part of particular interest is the aspect of Google Hang Outs. This is a part of the Google Circles field. Google Hang Outs is a webcam conversation tool. Typically Skype, or Google Hang Outs is used between friends in replace of a phone conversation or a more economical resource to have a conversation with someone on the other side of the world.
Now, just imagine Google Hang Outs as a tool for education. What does this mean for pen pals? Video conversations with anyone, all over the world? Online classes for elementary school?
Google is becoming a common tool in many schools - a form of communication between peers and students, a way of submitting documents and an area for resources. But what about Google Hang Outs? At first I thought, what a great tool for group work. Rather than meeting in the same place, meet at the same time and work via web cam. But that thought expanded in my technology class.
Snow days.
Every Canadian students favourite day. The anticipation the night before, the excitement finding out there's no school, and a day full of playing in the snow.
Google Hang Outs now provides the teacher the opportunity to run class for students. School has now become accessible from anywhere for students. Education is all around us.
As a teacher in training I love the idea. Being able to reach students on those days. Continuing classes as if Mother Nature was never a problem. However as a Canadian child, snow days were some of my favourite days. Some of my greatest stories with my friends happened on snow days.
The technology to me is fascinating and I continually am mind blown by the possibilities and opportunities it provides. But how do we integrate traditional with modern? How do we instil the life lessons learned from snow days while still using the technology? Do we just move forward and hope there will be new experiences for children today, or try and hold onto those experiences we had growing up?
I am curious to hear your thoughts and ideas on the tradition vs modern battle.

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