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Resourcing, Rapport & Real-Time

I have been trying to organize my uneasy relationship with technology. Three categories keep on popping into my head:

This is my daily habit of collecting data for my teaching content. It may be an online list of irregular verbs organized in a more semantic way. It may mean tapping a movie script database that is amazing in scope. It's the treasure hunting and gathering. It's the chore of ubiquitous capture. Stuff in a cloud that I may use some day. "How did he know that?" a student asks. He knew that because he did his homework.

I have been trying to have a conversation with my students and colleagues. "How was your weekend?" now performs the function of 'time to get the class started'. In class, they expect me to monologue. I try to twist it into a dialog, but the context-the room the chairs and occasion is hard to shake for a student. Email is much the same way. One way. Formalized exchanges lacking the spontaneity that would be so beneficial to the learning experience. Enter texting, twittering and all the other social networking applications that have annexed our lives. Do I dare employ these schemes to reach and converse with my students? Do they dare do the same with me? What is the net value of such endeavor?

How to use technology effectively in the actual 'real-time' delivery of content? Teachers have always had this as a real question for their classes. The chalkboard, the slate-these technologies are older than dirt (Actually dirt was used in the clay tablets that possibly used in the early classrooms). Since the 50s we have been using some sort of media to enhance learning. Slide projectors, filmstrips, cassette, VCRs, DVDs, SMART-boards and SMART-internet enabled classrooms are all part of the laundry list of 'modern' tools. There are real challenges to implementing these devices into the classrooms-cost is a big one, but the real challenge is not how to get the SMART-board working but how to get the teacher to be smart  in how they use these contraptions?

As I see it, looking at the use of technology in teaching in three different modes or functions: Resourcing, Rapport & Real-Time helps me organize and prioritize my efforts in becoming excellent at all three.

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