For the past week, I’ve been trying to brainstorm my GTA video and thinking about how to best tell a story in 1 minute. I sat down and wrote a script, recorded a movenote and sent it to a colleague. It was still very “vanilla” to me meaning that it sounded more “teacher voice” instead of conversational. It’s like I was reading what I wanted people to hear instead of saying what I believed in my heart…if that makes sense. I hate talking in my “teacher voice” because it can often come across as “plastic” and I’m definitely not fake.
The thing is… we can all attest to the tools that we use in the classroom. We can talk about how we train teachers. We can talk about how we use the suite of Google Apps. We’ll throw in words about Docs, blogger, groups, google+, chrome, chromebooks and even youtube. However, can we attest to the impact that these tools are having at home. How are kids really using them in their world after the bell rings?
I took a step back from my “fake cue card read video” and looked at the kid right in front of me. For months, I’ve shared and talked about my nephew and his puppets. He’s not in a google school. Heck they can’t even use “google search” but he’s definitely a “google kid” meaning that the apps are a part of him. As I was coming home to excitedly talk about what we were doing and sharing…he was learning. He picked up on tools through conversation and watching me work. He learned about tools as he needed to accomplish a goal and sometimes he’s even taught me a thing or two.
Everything that he has learned has come from a google tool. I’ve watched him take a flat sheet of foam, design a pattern and give it curves. I’ve watched him watch youtube videos for hours as he honed in on his techniques. He’s using docs to write scripts for his videos and sharing them with me to gain feedback. He’s blogging using blogger. He even makes google forms in order to collect data on his puppet types as people request them. Last week, he learned about spreadsheets and now maintains one where he’s keeping track of his savings in order to purchase a few Axtell puppets. He is 9 and if he is owning these tools as they relate to his normal life, I can only imagine what our kids are doing when they go home.
How we use technology shouldn’t be some abnormal event but should be a part of our “normal” just like it is for him.
The same rules apply to our kids in our classrooms and that is what our kids are exposed to as we integrate with google apps.
In the past, I didn’t apply to GTA because I honestly didn’t “get” it. I wasn’t in a google apps district and I wasn’t effectively using these tools. Yes, I am all about community, learning and growth but I also have to believe in the power of the purpose.
It seems only fitting that at this stage, while I was thinking through ideas, they were right in front of me all along.
No, I’m not going to talk about Braeden but I’m a storyteller and through him, I “feel” the story and that’s important.