Learning Design Facilitator

I recently ran across an article from Alan November in what appears to be a recent article at the eSchool News web site, and it reminded me of his great discussions about educational technologies at conferences and through his publications.  In the article entitled “Don’t plan for technology, plan for learning”, he describes a moment with a client where he suggests that the name “Director of Educational Technology” be switched to “Learning Design Facilitator” and thus brings to mind the following points for schools to remember.

First and foremost is the point that we are designing and developing better learning moments through educational technology usage so that students are absolutely learning.  Learning must occur, and must be the highest and most important goal.  Learning must be evaluated properly, and the learning must maintain current high success levels or improvement.  Does your technology administrator understand learning in schools?

Secondly, I say that learning must maintain current high levels of success or better because we do have great teachers teaching and learning administrators must respect that and honor that.  Perhaps your school is simply making great learning more accessible, modern, and relevant to technologies.  Perhaps students are learning to use modern technologies to continue great projects from wonderful teachers, and thus this is an improvement at your school.  Does your technology administrator honor great teachers with a proven track record and help them adapt to those changes?

Thirdly, it is important to note that education must drive the technology and not technology drive the education.  Over my career, I have witnessed too many educational experiences where technology professionals and those in control of technology changes at schools don’t understand the educational side of the equation.  Much money is spent without truly achieving educational improvement and life long learning with these tools.  How is your educational technology being evaluated and do you have someone in place who can clearly evaluate the overall affect on learning at your institution?

Educational technologies founded in educational research, proven methods, and creative implementation are what schools need to achieve moments of absolutely learning.  While I am fine with the term Director of Educational Technology, I do believe all technology administrators in schools need to be constantly reminded of the educational principles that they are being empowered to improve.  Does your school truly merge technology with learning goals or are you simply filling spaces with cool technologies to appease the pop culture and your parents?

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An Absolutely Learning perspective on The Mozilla Foundation

As the Mozilla web site clearly states, “Mozilla exists to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the Internet. Mozilla is a proudly non-profit organization dedicated to keeping the power of the Web in people’s hands. We are a global community of users, contributors and developers working to innovate on your behalf. When you use Firefox, or any Mozilla product, you become a part of that community, helping us build a brighter future.”So I am assuming that I can proudly say that I part of the Mozilla community as I definitely use the Firefox web browser for most (90%) of my web browsing, and I have also unleashed Thunderbird as a desktop email client from time to time.

Also most recently when I needed to make some quick changes on my web sites I downloaded and executed html editing and file transfers with their products KompoZer and FileZilla.  These are all well designed software tools that empowered me to provide for you, taught me more about the Internet through project based learning, and saved me from having to purchase a newer version of another software editing tool for my MacBook Pro.

So, of course, this leads me to the non-profit question.  How does it function?  Well, of course, Mozilla needs our support financially and in the form of promotion.  If you find yourself using their products then perhaps you could donate too.  I recently donated for the first time, and I received a cool Mozilla Firefox T-shirt that I wear proudly wear to promote the brand.  I also recommend it in my classes, and I am writing about it on my blog at this very moment while the monster FileZilla is transferring over 3500 files of my students work to another web site as I reorganize my web contributions.

Mozilla truly empowers us to freely gather information efficiently and without secondary objectives of profit in mind.  Mozilla is a democratic organization that allows us to express ourselves for the better of the world.  I support Mozilla, and I hope you do too because I don’t know what would happen in a world without these types of smart, caring, and easy to use products.