There was a presentation at Kansas State University made by Jim Groom earlier this month that was sponsored by Ed Parkour. The presentation was very enlightening about the future of technology in the classroom.
Jim Groom is a professor at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. There is a lot of historical significance to that area regarding the American Civil War. Jim Groom has his students go around the area to learn more then he has them tell their stories on their online portfolios with the help of wordpress. His idea of learning has inspired new perspectives. Students are now able to learn in ways that were not even thought of a century ago. Students are able to harness concepts about the past through storytelling! It is like sharing links with your friends and family on facebook.
Jim Groom thinks that we should borrow information within reason so that we can stay on track and go forward to learn new concepts. His idea shows that people can access information in many different ways. They should be able to use the technology and share it with others online. Basically, I think that allowing students to have this freedom to write what they want to about what interests them will help them become naturally curious learners. Students usually hate blogging at first. Students do not want to be told that they absolutely have to do a project. If the class allows the students to leisurely come up with their own journal they will have their own sense of ownership.
This aspect of learning is very D.I.Y., much like the punk spirit. Jim Groom does not actually want to learning to be completely without organization. Institutions like Kansas State University help guide learning for students. Allowing students a certain amount of freedom is very helpful with their development as self-sufficient citizens. Students will feel unmotivated if there is absolutely no ownership in how they learn.
I agree with Jim Groom. I feel like sometimes it is very hard to complete assignments when there is no real world experience to back up my statements. There is excitement in being able to say, I have been there and done that. I also feel that finding fun things on the internet and sharing it with others is a wonderful way to learn from one another. I do not feel like it is a chore to continue my education when I can access links on the internet and use them as tools for my own benefit.
My future students should be allowed to use the internet as a tool. In a music classroom, access to music notation programs such as finale will help students visualize how music works. There are websites that are readily available for ear training. When it comes to music performance, allowing students to use recordings helps them decide how they want to interpret a piece of musical repertoire. The possibilities for learning with the internet and computers seem infinite. There is so much data out there on the world wide web.