Getting ready for DEN Spring Training to officially start. What a great way to kick things off visiting The National Baseball Hall of Fame! I have always wanted to go. Isn’t it nice when things finally come together. I was having a lovely, fun, boisterous conversation with some fellow DEN stars this evening. The discussion shifted from DEN Spring Training to the divide between the benefits of the Internet and the hazards of the Internet. Recently I brought students to Beijing, China through the computer. We don’t have the funds to fly over 1,000 children to China. And I don’t have a class to qualify for Discovery Student Adventures. But through Discovery Education Streaming Videos and other web clips and images I was able to simulate a voyage between the continents. The students had a fabulous time. Ah the power of the Internet.
Yet, on the flip side there are dangers lurking behind every click too. Is this site real? Does it present factual information? Does it have a bias? Are the images and language age appropriate? You think you are searching for a benign educational topic and wow OMG the mind explodes at some of the objectionable content that comes up as well. Online predators, people with skewed agendas, liars and more it is mind boggling.
I think one needs to find the compromise. Use the Internet in a STRUCTURED manner for instructional practice. I am still a proponent of the WebQuest. Perhaps it doesn’t have to include all the parts of the Bernie Dodge and Tom Marsh model. But just sending young kids randomly to google with a topic is not appropriate Instructional Technology Integrations. This is a vital skill for older children. But the beginnings need to be a list of pre-approved websites to visit (embedded in a PowerPoint or SMART file) with a question to answer or solve.
I love watching the spark of technology build across my building. One teacher approached me with an idea for a scavenger hunt with a twist. Love it! Can’t wait to see the process and the product. Both are as equally important to me these days.
Looking for to DEN Spring Training this month. Do you have runners on all your bases in your professional development ball-field?