Not being a Specificist!

I’m so out of practice with all of this that I didn’t even take any pictures of yesterday’s event in Menomonie, Wisconsin.  So here’s a picture out side my hotel room in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where, according to my handy weather widget, it’s 0ËšF.

Specificist? OK, it’s my blog.  So it’s my right to makeup words for my blog.  I could have easily said, I’m not an Evangelist, but that wouldn’t be quite so accurate.  My gig is almost never, one thing.  It’s not blogging, or podcasting, or video games, or literacy, or any of the other major focuses of education and education technology.  I suspect that this is largely due to the many formative years I’ve spent in ed tech, focused on so many different aspects of using technology for teaching and learning.  I’m mean, I’m still programming computers.

What’s wrong with all of this is that I talk about a lot of different stuff.  Take yesterday in Menomonie.  The school district hired me to keynote their staff development conference.  I talked about 21st century literacy.  However, I also talked in other sessions about blogging, podcasting, wikis, RSS, video games, ethics, and I spent time simply exploring the fundamentals of an information landscape that many of their children already call home.

It often worries me that I am throwing so many ingredients into the pot, that the stew I’m cooking will be so mixed and pureed that no one will walk away with any real guiding sense of where to take their technology and their teaching.

This is why I was so gratified to read library/media specialist Doug Hyde’s blog this morning.  He walked away with the key elements, the very simple but sturdy skeleton upon which all the rest of it can be worn.

Classroom In Your Pocket:

…It was good to hear someone affirm what I feel about education and technology. I have been concerned that there has been misplaced emphasis on the hardware, and not the attitudes, of people who use assorted technologies to acquire, analyze, and synthesize information…

What particularly impressed me was his 3-E’s: Exposing the information, Employing the information, and Expressing ideas compellingly. These are supported by the invisible ‘E,’ Ethical use of information. In short we need to encourage ourselves and students to look for the truth, find relevance, and create value for information; all the while keeping the information honest, unbiased, and personal by citing sources.

Not only am I gratified to hear from someone who got it, but I’ve also found a great blog about iPods in education… Hyde’s Classroom In Your Pocket.

Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.