Mr. Churchill was invited to speak about his use of technology with his junior high school students at Clarenville Middle School. Sporting his Movember stash, Mr. Churchill shared some of the ways he is employing tools like Google Drive, Glogster, Edmodo, Prezi, PollEverywhere, and Twitter to engage his students during class, encourage them to connect with other learners beyond their classroom/school, expand their Personal Learning Networks, and to try to bring the world into his classroom.
Speaking specifically of Twitter, he mentioned a lesson on using hashtags effectively, which I thought would be a cool lesson for that age group. In fact, I think this is something all Twitter users are still negotiating, which is interesting in itself. In a time of great change, we are creating the conditions, usage trends, and importance of such tools within our own networks and subgroups. This is a conversation that has as much significance with new Twitter users as it does with “oldies” (given that Twitter was only founded in 2006).
Anyhow, Mr. Churchill’s talk was engaging, and learning about what he is doing in the secondary system was a refreshing reminder that our learners in post-secondary are not so far removed from these early explorations with technology.
It also goes without saying that Mr. Churchill’s efforts to get his learners thinking about real-world applications of these technologies (i.e., the social media “footprint” and lessons on critical media awareness, social media in the workplace, etc.) are critical to these young so-called “digital natives” becoming informed, savvy users of technologies.