A Manifesto from a Spanish Teacher and Educational Technologist

Next year, I am embarking upon a mission to teach Spanish full time to middle school students, and I will be implementing educational technology methods and products that I have been designing and advocating for many years.  I am not planning on supporting those who can not use technology well, trying to convince administrators and teachers how to incorporate technology into the classroom in the best ways, or solving network and hardware problems for students and staff.  I am planning on teaching, and I am expecting students to learn.  I am planning on incorporating technology directly into the everyday life of my classroom, and I am very happy that my liberal arts education has afforded me this transition with such ease.I will also ask questions about how to improve language learning for middle school students, and I will test out best practices that use digital, blended, and traditional techniques.  I may even design some products and new lesson plans like I have done in the past.  And finally, if all is well I may develop projects for the web and mobile devices in my spare time.  Yes, it is time to blend skills, to design methods, to program prototypes, and to test and release new products and methods.  Lookout! (as my friends from Chattanooga say) There will be more in the future. ( no pun intended students )I wish all the best to my past students, their parents, my friends, my colleagues, and fellow educational technologists.  You can feel free to contact me should you have further questions.

Gigabyte Z68MA-D2H-B3 Motherboard

Last spring I was approached by one of my computer science students who was building a computer for one of his friends, and he wanted my opinion on the Gigabyte Motherboard in the title of this particular post.  I told him that I thought he had made an excellent choice, but I did not want to get involved with the construction or design of a new computer so I cautiously backed away from the project.  I was impressed with the potential of the computer system that he was going to build for his friend, but I was concerned that he was taking on a friend as a client.

After a few weeks my brilliant student encountered what most computer professionals uncover frequently in their careers which is the client changed his mind about what he wanted after parts had been ordered. Now some who hear this story might question if there was a clear design explained to the client, and I would say yes because my student clearly told me what he was planning on creating, and he had several conversations with his client.  The problem as I saw it was that the client who was not as educated in the computer technologies became frightened by what he did not understand, and he decided to change the plans as he learned more. He was fearful, and he perhaps learned some emotional lessons.  Plans change a lot around technology as clients become more educated; however, there has to be a point when a decision is made and plans move forward. Technology will continue to change and evolve, and the desire of wanting the next greatest feature can send clients in an expensive spiral.

Well, as the project’s needs changed, I decided to help out my student by purchasing the Motherboard so that he could acquire what the client really (we hope) wanted and so that he would not go bankrupt at sixteen.  I also just finished selling that Motherboard on EBAY so that some lucky kid in another part of the country (I think Chicago) is going to get a great start to a project he wants to complete.  What an opportunity for learning!

As a side note, I bet school administrators could learn something about this process too.  You know, clearly defined goals to which everyone has been given notice helps all in an organization succeed.

Educational Technology from Absolutely Learning – Matt Moore