I am by no means a digital native. I am coming along in my understanding and use of technology, but I have quite a lot to learn. However, my journey with technology has brought about many changes in the way I teach and learn. Just a few years ago I remember being saddened to think that books were going to be available on a digital device. Not for me, I thought. I need to have the feel of the book in my hand and be able to turn the pages. I am now on my third Kindle, so change in thinking is possible.
Recently I discovered a neat app called Pocket. It allows me to download articles and store them for future reading when I have more time, like waiting in the doctor’s office or even standing in line at the grocery store. This week I read articles on conferring, ideas for writing poetry, and the importance of nurturing curiosity and creativity in young minds.
Last November I was totally mesmerized by all the tweeting going on at the NCTE Conference. It was amazing to me how everyone was so connected and learning from each other in new ways. I felt as if I were missing out on something important! Since I am not able to attend the IRA Conference next week, I wanted a way to stay in touch with the hottest new ideas and share in the excitement and new thinking going on. So, just this week, I joined Twitter. I wouldn’t say I jumped in with both feet, but my toes are definitely getting wet. I haven’t actually tweeted yet, but I have been following a few people, and I hope to learn more as I go along. (By the way, if you have any tips, please let me know.)
Change can be difficult. Often we get comfortable in the way we’ve always done things because it’s always worked out fine. But it’s important to stretch, take a few risks, and continue to grow. It’s important for us as well as our students. Best of all, it can be exciting!