Smart phones. Computers. Televisions. facebook. Twitter. YouTube. This list goes on and chances are, if our kids aren’t at school, they’re using one of these electronic device to access millions of apps. As a matter of fact, most school-age kids use electronics about 7.5 hours a day. Add to that that many are probably multi-tasking and students end up consuming around 11 hours of media content per day!
Companies update devices (hardware) and applications (apps or software) at lightning speed. So how can we, the adults who educate these tech-savvy youngsters, keep up with all this technology? How can we, the adults dubbed digital immigrants, integrate this technology into our lessons?
The answers to these questions and more are answered each summer during the Nebraska Writing Project Technology Summer Institute. The Institute provides a combination of time to play and explore, prepare lessons, collaborate with colleagues, and engage in thoughtful conversations. (Did I hear a collective sigh of relief?)
From June 7-25, 2010, NeWP Technology Liaison Cyndi Dwyer with UNL professor June Griffin and teacher consultant Carrie Copley facilitated a whirl-wind, three-week journey through cyberspace. Teacher consultants explored technology to enhance writing instruction in their classrooms. Much of the time was spent in the “cloud” discovering new ways to reach the 21st century learners of today.
“When we got our heads out of the ‘cloud,’ we explored software applications (mostly on Macs) to keep up on the newest and hottest trends to hit the world of educational technology,” said Copley.
Caught in the act! TCs catch up on the latest technology
The 2011 Technology Summer Institute runs June 6-24. The institute will meet daily 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Lincoln Southwest High School in the computer lab.
Past participants rave about the Institute:
“It’s a great time to learn and play and dream with technology.”
“As with all NEWP institutes, this one has been great. The teachers have been fun, friendly, encouraging and helpful. It is a joy to spend three precious weeks with others of like mind.”
“I feel more confident in the use of technology. . . I have a better feel for the language of technology which I desperately needed.”
“Beginning” Teacher Consultants often experience a major learning curve, but others participate to focus on the new and exciting web 2.0 offerings and to gather ideas for classroom use:
“The technologies and thinking about how the technologies can enhance my teaching, meaningfully.”
“I knew most of what we were doing, but the idea of, reason for, and then the application to my classroom was most rich.”
“I’ve honed my skills–I knew basic things before about some of these programs but never had time to play.”
“I appreciated being able to think critically about how to incorporate technology effectively.”
NEWP institutes have a reputation for being meaningful and engaging participants and the technology institute is no exception. Teachers may qualify for a $250 stipend to offset the cost of three graduate credit hours. Applications for the 2011 Technology Institute are being accepted now through March 7 with notification of acceptance by April 18.