It was an inspiring weekend, participating in the 2-day workshop, “The Networked Educator”. There was a wealth of information and resources that flowed on the first day. Thank you Kim and Chris for organizing and running the event. I appreciated the second day of the workshop to help solidify the learning from day one and also to help clarify and try out some of the ideas.
At the workshop, I experienced Speed Geeking for the first time. Not only was it informative, but also it was fast-paced, and a little exciting. (Am I getting a little too geeky now?) The set-up was a little like surfing the web. I could have just typed in “IT that can help me in the classroom” into the search engine window and it would have pulled-up a page view of different links. With speed geeking, I had real people, who were armed with laptops sharing their expertise and advice about their application of technology to education. I learned about Wolfram online computative system, Wiki’s used in the classroom, iPad projects for lower-elementary students, and more. The list continues on and with IT now, I can go to the shared document to refresh my memory about the presentations and tap back into the notes and links posted. The connections made in this brief speed geeking session were not longer than a few minutes, but with today’s technology I can strengthen the learning from particular sessions by reading the presenter’s blog or connecting via Twitter. On a tangent, but related to my learning from Speed Geeking, I was reading about the features for the soon to be released iPhone 5. It mentions that one of the new features of the phone will be the ability to directly connect to Wolfram. While I am not especially a fan of Wolfram, it is interesting that once you do get “networked”, certain topics or bits of information surface up in different areas–a news article, a Tweet, a blog post, etc.
This euphoria from learning a new thing about technology was a motivational moment for me. It reminded me of a time my 5-year old son just recently discovered how to download an app[ ] lication from the iPad. I had recently downloaded an application and my son had gotten his hands on the iPad before the 15-minute window expired. Whether he planned it or not, he went for the flying game and in a few minutes he cried out, “Dad, I downloaded a game!”. He was excited and proud of his accomplishment. I couldn’t really get mad at the boy for successfully navigating the iTunes store and finding a game that he found interesting. I asked him, “How did you do that?”. He showed me the process and then later exclaimed, “I am a genius!”. It was a classic moment. But what does this show, it shows that 5-year old boy is motivated to get tech saavy and he feels rewarded when he learns a new skill. Way to geek out, son!