The EDU487 gang conducted a mini-professional development session on July 9th (2008). Working in small teams, we helped each other learn the basics of several technology tools that could be useful for our upcoming Get Real Science Summer Camp. The tools included:
- Blogs and Wiki’s
- Garmin GPS Units
- Google Earth
- Keynote Software (for Macs)
- Palm Pilots
I fould the session to be fun and very helpful. Learning any technology tool is an investment of time and energy; sometimes it is difficult to choose which “portfolio” of tool(s) in which to invest. By working with peers who have similar goals, we were able to come up the learning curve with each tool very quickly, and assess its fit with our educational goals. A big PLUS for the experience!
The only ARROW I have is a ‘rubber’ one. I sensed that many of us felt pressured to explain/demonstrate and guide inquiry with our assigned tool effectively within the allotted time of 20-30 minutes. There is no way around time pressure in a semester course like EDU487 that is compressed into 5 weeks – this is the reason the arrow is made of rubber. Still, it’s worth mentioning the time pressure if for no other reason than to acknowledge it. We all need to keep the compressed nature of the course and the assignments in mind and strive for excellence instead of perfection.