I found myself working really hard this past year to hone my skills with technology. One negative of the existence of all of this wonderful technology at our fingertips in the tendency to do too much or use too many tools. Thinking about this and watching my son play with the sandcastles at the beach I have been pondering some points to keep in mind as the new year starts.
As with all sandcastles, eventually they're going to get knocked down by someone or it will rain and they will melt. Similarly, I encourage all those who are old hats at incorporating technology into their classroom or just starting out, not to get too attached to a certain tool. Be open to others that will improve the experience for you and more importantly, your students. Treat each of your projects as a sandcastle that can be rebuilt very easily because you have access to technology.
Case and point was this year when I was using Animoto to make poetry movies. Students had to import the mp4's into iMovie, add text and transition, then over to Garageband to add voiceovers and music, and finally to Voicethread for peer review! It's tiring just typing about it. This was one sandcastle that wasn't going to last! The sandcastle for that project was kicked over the next semester when we used images which were added to an enhanced podcast in Garageband where they added all voiceovers and music in one application. Less headaches for me and the focus was more on the students' voice and oral communication of their chosen poems.
What sandcastle will you kick over this summer in an effort to rebuild it and make it better? Event though your students may knock it over like so many of mine this past year, your willingness to adapt and build a new castle will pay off many times over.
Photo: My son Jack after kicking over a sandcastle!