Chatting about #edtech from the middle of the Pacific

I work—and sometimes it feels like I live—in cyberspace. So, this month’s #teaching2030 Twitter chat on integrating technology was my kind of chat. First, the amazing technology that we chat about allowed me to facilitate this chat from Maui. I teach online and have connected with my kids from Maui each winter, New Mexico and […]

I work—and sometimes it feels like I live—in cyberspace. So, this month’s #teaching2030 Twitter chat on integrating technology was my kind of chat. First, the amazing technology that we chat about allowed me to facilitate this chat from Maui. I teach online and have connected with my kids from Maui each winter, New Mexico and even Bahrain. The technology we chat about actually gives me more contact with my students than the hour a day I used to have in my face-to-face class.

In fact, anyone within a cell tower range can facilitate a chat, teach a course, help a student through a difficult concept, instruct a group, or complete any number of tasks that we generally think are only possible in person (or at the very least, at a school or an office). I chatted from an iPad, but I suspect there were participants using devices as small as a cell phone. I can control the time and it give my teaching just in time power I have not had before. No more learning bell to bell. We now learn whenever or wherever we need.

The group who joined us for the chat could be a group right out of the book that inspired these chats, TEACHING 2030. They are tech savvy and understand the impact that emerging technologies are having on how, when, and where they teach and learn.

As we wrote in the book, the best public education solution in the future will combine virtual and face-to-face learning. In that light, we asked several questions about teaching with technology. Many chat participants highlighted the value of technology in their teaching, and I couldn’t agree more:

@MrBernia:There is far more information, and the ability to personalize and learn about what interests you.

@dlaufenberg: technology allows for publishing of content to a broad audience, giving a more authentic exhibition of work

@shighley: I’d like to think that students can be empowered by tech in many of the same ways I’ve been empowered as a teacher

So, with these thoughts and conversations in my mind, I will head to the beach with my iPhone handy in case the twittersphere lights up. This is an amazing time for technology to free up teachers to work any place any time with colleagues or students. Learning how to leverage technology to make learning more powerful and teaching in and out of cyberspace seamlessly is going to be key. With that, we are well on our way.