Monday, July 07, 2008

Scenes from University of Montevallo Workshop 3



The "Digital Resource Sheet" is a tool I am still trying to perfect. What if a teacher could gather in one place all of the digital resources he/she wants to use for all subjects for an entire year?

What if the teacher could look across the spreadsheet and see all of the resources that would be used that week and look down the sheets to see all of the resources that would be used in that subject? What if each one of those resources was hyperlinked so that a click of the mouse who bring that resource to the screen (and if the computer is hooked to a projector, bring the image to the screen)?

The resources we are talking about consist of the following:
  • Any document saved to the computer
  • Any PowerPoint presentation saved to the computer
  • Any video saved to the computer
  • Any document available on the Internet
  • Any PowerPoint on the Internet
  • Any video on the Internet
  • Any website
We live in a time where resources are abundant. Finding resources is easy. Downloading them is easy. Remembering what you have and being able to put your hands on what you want when you want it...that's really hard...or at least it can be. "Overwhelmed" is a term that accurately describes the feeling of so many teachers today.

We have three solutions available to us. The first is to spend countless hours on a daily basis gathering resources for the coming day and continue this insanity until we burn out. The second option is to throw up a wall and block out all of those outside resources. Let the textbook be the be-all-end-all. We preserve our sanity, yet we rob ourselves and our students of a rich education.

A third option exists, and that option is use technology to solve the problem of being overwhelmed by technology. I am a firm believer that we are never given a problem without also being given the tools the solve it, although we may have to use some ingenuity to find it. This Digital Resource Sheet is something I think has the potential to let us "have our cake and eat it too." We can have the simplicity that organization gives us and the richness that being alive in an ultra-connected world provides for us.

What if this tool was something which could be built and shared amongst multiple teachers? Those are the thoughts going through my mind at this moment.

When you come to the edge of all the light you know, and you are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.

—Barbara J. Winter

Post a Comment