Empowering those who take matters into their own hands...
We talk about Differentiated Instruction but what does it mean today? In my mind the goal was always to allow for customization of the learning process to meet the needs of learners, in short to put learning in the palm of a kids’ hand.
The powerful invention that ushered in the last Renaissance was the printing press. Suddenly, every person could learn whatever suited them. Knowledge for the first time became readily available and affordable to obtain. You didn’t have to physically visit knowledgeable people to access knowledge. Sound familiar?
Educational institutions sometimes watch passively as amazingly powerful tools are birthed into existence on a nearly daily basis. The “crazies” in education are playing with new tools today and test-driving them as potential new learning vehicles. In the early days of the web and personal computing and in some places still today, these educational innovators are seen as risk-takers or distractors, people upsetting the natural order of things.
I see these people as essential trail-blazers in the educational relevance game. Whether the goal is to get the most out of shrinking resources or maximize our ability to engage learners, these people are the modern day educational Moses’ helping us find the promised land.
iPods, GPS, Kindles, netbooks, laptops and all of the other tools of the digital revolution are NOTHING without educators who are willing to drive them and systems that are willing and committed to integrating them into learning. What are we doing about that?
What our messages leave behind...
The ways that humans communicate are rapidly changing, so are the impressions that are left by our communications.
We often deal with change in monolithic ways. We consider the easy to see facts on the front porch but neglect nuance and sometimes nuance is what is most important.
In the myriad ways humans communicate, it is the subtle, unspoken cues that often draw the ire of those who’s respect we most want to win. In a regular conversation, the body language, eye movements and subtle intonations that accompany communication give use a larger picture of the individual, their personality and possible motives. Being able to decipher these attendant cues is probably one of the skills that served homo sapiens well and led to our success in the game of survival. Seeing the hidden snarl in a potential opponent meant we might avoid actual teeth in a future confrontation. The stages where communication takes place vary but I would wager that the brain quickly acquaints itself with the surroundings and start to glean clues to accompany the words .
With all of this in mind, what are the communicative nuances in IM’s, Tweets, and texts. Is it possible to be perceived as a digital dud or a cyber-clumsy oaf? Growing up and negotiating the complexities of communication was hard when I was a kid and we only had the tone of a voice or penmanship to consider.
While we’re considering the “front porch realities of growing up digital. I suggest that a dialogue about understanding the subtleties of intended or unintended communication is warranted. The best way to help kids learn this curriculum is to live in the digital spaces where they talk
Welcome to our brand new webpage for My Safe Surf. This is our redeveloped and reorganized website aimed at making it easier for parents, teachers, mentors and the like to better communicate with children and what it takes to be smart online. Riding the Wave is our new blog fashioned towards updating our visitors, so stay tuned for more!