Not All Toys…

I had a great conversation just over a year ago with another tech-interested teacher. He said, “Not all toys belong in the classroom.”

His point was that not all things kids enjoy doing with technology necessarily belong in the classroom. That could include many types of games, and possibly a fair range of social network tools and techniques that are very important to kids’ social lives or developing sense of independent authority, but not really adaptable to a classroom environment.

In no way did he mean that chat, online discussions, online exchanges of data, or even Twitter-types of communication (texting) should be banned from classrooms. Instead, he was saying that we had to pick and choose, and also we had to teach children about making the right decisions about “time and space” decisions about technology use. In effect, kids need to separate their personal and “work” lives to some extent, as do we all. School can be fun and innovative, but it is also work, and developing disciplined thought and work practices is what schools are all about.

Looking back over the past two years of posts to this blog, it’s obvious that I haven’t had time and energy to contribute as often as I did the first two years. I’d like to change that, and try to make this blog more central to my online presence again. I have a Facebook page, and a Twitter account, but I also have a large family photo site and a small, neglected sailing blog. What I would like to do is separate my work and play a bit, and post mostly edtech posts here, family and sailing posts to the second sailing blog, and use the photo site as a support to both blogs.

This might also fit in better with my evolving interest in mobile technology, and this new iPhone I’m using. I really like how I can post directly to Facebook, both text and images, but I’d rather do it directly to this blog and echo the materials to Facebook. In the end, I fully own this site, and I’d like to see it be a long-term site for contributing ideas to this profession.

More to come, and that’s for visiting here! At the moment, I’m writing this on my laptop on the train to Portsmouth, where I will likely upload this to k12converge.com from my boat using a 3G usb stick. It’s fun to do work like this when I’m traveling without family. I need to visit the boat today to check on her and warm up the diesel engine.

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