Forward Ho! After a slight detour …

obsolete.jpgI don’t own an iPad. I don’t own an iPhone (holy heck batman they cost more than my car). I don’t even own a microwave. My own children’s’ schools and my prac schools so far don’t even have iPads. An IWB (when it works) is advanced as their ICT gets (with a technician only employed a couple of days a week). Needless to say I am feeling out of my depth as I read fellow students’ blogs on all the digital devices they use at home and work. Things I’ve never heard of, concepts I can’t even begin to .. well … conceptualise. Then I worry about the adverse effect of the digital divide on students (and my own children)  – will we be able to cope and compete in the 21st century without these skills? How do we, as teachers, bridge this gap without funding and finances? How do we teach ourselves?

Your Public Library has the answer! Self-discovery online has been such a wonderful adventure. Check out your local library, mine (which has online access so I can sit at home and reserve the latest Game of Thrones DVD for free!) has different computing groups offering FREE courses. Tech Savvy runs several FREE courses on basic introduction to computers, iPads, smart phones and the like (I have enrolled in everything). DigiTech meets monthly for a Chat Group and follows the interests of members in addition to holding FREE courses. Currently they are running a term-long course on Lego Mindstorm which is currently being taught in schools as part of the new Digital Technologies curriculum. I have attended one such course myself where I experienced the joys of Ozbots and Scratch Coding and Spheros and joy of joys we got to open and play with the brand new Lego Mindstorm. As much fun as they are as ‘toys’ I was absolutely amazed at how many different learning areas we covered through self-discovery and exploration in completing the challenges. (Guess what Santa is bringing us this Christmas – for the kids, of course, wink wink).

usbAs pre-service teachers we do not have access to Professional Developments nor are these learning areas taught at university level and many of us cannot afford to pay for courses. However, we can upgrade our skills for the future by undertaking some of these wonderful free opportunities open to the public. Or taking our kids. Or keeping our potential students up-to-date on what is available for them outside of school, especially if it is FREE. Or, if you are like me and are a hands-on visual learner, these courses are so much more beneficial than simply googling YouTube for a quick demo.

Side Trip: how ironic that we can utilise ICT to interest our students in reading! Through sourcing the public library online our kids can look for their favourite interests (such as the latest Minecraft book on hacking and tricks), reserve it and then read it at home at leisure.

2 thoughts on “Forward Ho! After a slight detour …

  1. Who says we need to own and be able to operate technology? There are still people out there who love to read a ‘real’ book or newspaper, they haven’t stopped making them because we can buy a kindle. I think sometimes we feel forced to be part of the digital world. How fortunate that the Libraries realise, some of us need help and will provide courses FREE of charge. That is a great resource. B

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  2. I am still old school when it comes to reading, i prefer ‘real’ books and newspaper instead of kindle. But again living in the 21st century we need to keep ourselves updated with the latest technology and library free programs are good way to start. I wish i had the time and opportunity to attend these free programs..sometime i dont even get time to comb my hair..

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