Church and Technology

Yesterday during our Easter Services, my church rolled out a new program: Connected 3D.  Even churches are starting to address that technology exists but how do we have a healthly relationship with that technology whether it’s our phone, tv, computer or anything else that prevents us from having interaction with the outside world?  My church reaffirms that we were created to have relationships with others and at times our incessant need to be “connected” is no substitute for real-world, face-to-face connections and relationships.

So how is my church addressing this issue?  They have developed a three part plan to establish healthly technology habits.

  1. Disconnect to Connect: Choosing specific times and places to consistently disconnect from ALL devices so that you can develop normal, healthy relationships with others.
  2. Deepen Internal Values: Identifying and setting internal values that act as a compass to guide the “family” when navigating technology decisions.
  3. Develop External Boundaries: Establishing the right safety and accountability strategies for everyone in your home.

What a great approach to being socially conscious of technology and equipping parents and students to open the lines of communications to the dangers and pitfalls of technology but also not restricting the use of technology.

I want to look into incorporating this approach into a school based program and guide to technology. Providing opportunities for the students to use technology in their classrooms but also realizing that there are times that are best suited for personal interactions.

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Learning from Leaders

Through my current course in Digital Learning and Leading, I am slowly developing my own digital portfolio to showcase my learning.  I hope to use this portfolio to showcase digital tools that I find interesting or hope to use in the future. I have enjoyed developing my site to be seamless and easy to navigate.

Part of the learning process has been to explore and learn from others that have been through the same experiences and what a better opportunity than collaborating with my peers. We actually developed groups that met to discuss our sites and what requirements we have to meet as part of our assignment.  I have actually enjoyed our meeting and learning how to collaborate through Google Hangouts.  There are still many challenges that I hope to face as I grow and develop this site.  I hope to find a way to promote this site and have more outside input to my posts about my learning experiences.

This site has made we want to explore how to add more personal touches through the sharing of my hobbies and other activities I enjoy other than just learning and technology.

Should Technology be part of Education

Technology is growing, evolving and developing at an intense speed and we need to be literate so we aren’t left behind.  So we should be able to answer the question, should technology be part of education?  From the perspective of a home schooler that wants to provide a protected learning environment, it becomes a larger challenge.

Technology can be a great asset, allowing us to see and do things that we couldn’t have access to before.  From virtual field trips, assessments, games that enhance learning to programs that provide the materials for teaching subjects we aren’t capable of teaching.  As parents and teachers we are always looking for the best programs, curriculum and resources to provide our students the knowledge to be successful in the future.  Unfortunately, many home schooler parents find that technology can be a hinderance to their students social skills, preventing physical interaction with other students and adults. Many home school students only use technology to create papers, research or just to play video games.

I just read a website article that really wasn’t promoting technology in education and yet I feel that we need to move directly head-long in that direction.  Students are going to have to learn how to manage creating e-portfolios, a variety of presentations and group projects.  We would be doing a disservice to them if we don’t show them all these tools and how to use them to make amazing presentations that help them manage the requests of their future professors.

There are so many benefits of using technology in learning and I hope to share some interesting tools and resources through this my eportfolio.  I think the key to moving into a technology filled world is preparing both parents and students to being aware of what is available, possible threats and having a plan of action. Effective use of technology replaces traditional teaching and offers students the freedom to learn at their preferred pace using their learning style and challenges students to grow and want to continue learning which is ultimately the goal of all teachers.

 

 

 

Scott, Andrew,  Should Technology be Part of Your Homeschool Curriculum? Retreieved from: http://www.smarttutor.com/homeschooling-should-technology-be-part-of-your-homeschool-curriculum/

Changing how we look at education

One of the reasons I started homeschooling was because I was told that my son was too young to start first grade and couldn’t sit still.  He could read but that had nothing to do with his abilities according to “educators”.  We started homeschooling so I could teach to his learning style and focused on a literature based program that focused on reading and writing while still providing other subjects like math, history, and science.  It proved to be exactly what my oldest son needed as he thrived in that environment.  He has since graduated high school and went to a major state university with honors.

I still home school my youngest son who is 16 and a sophomore in high school.  He is involved in Culinary Arts, learning how to prepare elaborate meals in a small convection oven and hot pad as well as taking a couple computer programming classes unavailable in traditional school environments.

When I started graduate school for digital learning and leading, I had no idea all the resources available to educators to provide some of these enriching environments.  What I found so exciting was when I found the video below.  Sir Ken Robinson speaks of changing the education paradigms.  If you are a homeschooler, you will find this video refreshing and encouraging.  Most of us that have been doing this awhile understand that we need to allow our students to learn at their own pace, using their learning styles and adapting teaching materials to best allow for that learning. We are constantly striving to help students have a love of learning and what a better way than through technology.

https://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_changing_education_paradigms