|An official update to the original "Shift Happens" video from Karl Fisch and|
Scott McLeod, this June 2007 update includes new and updated statistics,
thought-provoking questions and a fresh design. For more information,
or to join the conversation, please visit http://shifthappens.wikispaces.com.
Content by Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod, design and development by XPLANE.
(thanks to Lucy Gray for the link)
Although Karl Fisch's intended audience and purpose of this original presentation was "high school teachers thinking about the world [their] students [were] entering and wondering how best to help them prepare," the message has become widespread, reaching worldwide audiences in education and beyond. After watching this, I was left with more questions and frustration about my own teaching. What do these statistics mean for teachers of young children? How can we use technology in the classroom and our curricula in a meaningful way? How does pedagogy and curriculum need to change? What age and/or developmental considerations do we need to keep in mind when using technology? What kind of professional development do we need and are our schools providing it?
One quote especially caught my attention:
More than 70% of U.S. 4 years olds have used a computer.
This reminded me of my own daughter, who at age three, learned to use the trackpad on my laptop faster than I did. Now at four, she can drag and drop, use the space bar, and open her own folder with links to online games. What will she know by the time she enters second grade? What will my students know when they enter my classroom in September?
In my own classroom ten years ago, I used to sit down in front of the computer at the beginning of each year, three or four children gathered around at a time, and teach them how to use the mouse, how to open computer games, save, print, quit, etc. Now, most of my the children begin the year already knowing these basic skills. At home, they play games, look up information online, send email and listen to books and music on their ipods. We need to acknowledge that, as David Warlick writes,
Our kids are connected. Technology is part of their lives. But. . . . it’s not technology, it’s information. These gadgets are their links to information. These gadgets represent intellectual appendages to our children. They are the hands and feet that carry children to new experiences...
The world of blogs, wikis, Web 2.0, etc. is new to me and I've become passionate about learning all that I can. I am fortunate to teach at a school that has the resources and tools (computers, projectors, access to sites often blocked by schools such as flickr and youtube, digital cameras, microphones). I bring the world to my students with my laptop - we chart the real-time migration of whooping cranes, we email poets and authors, we watch videos of cicadas emerging, we search for the answers to our questions at a moment's notice, we check the web for current weather conditions. Yet, I want to do more. I want my students to be active participants, not just observers. I want them to interact, communicate, connect, share - but what's appropriate for second graders? How do I find the extra time in an already busy day to teach basic computer skills needed to use new software or online tools/resources? What do I give up in my curriculum or what do I need to change? What else can I learn as a teacher and how can my administration best support my professional development? Where do I begin? I don't have the answers, but the questions keep me searching.