Time for a reboot…

Power Button {Teaching and Learning, Education, Restart, Ed Tech}

I’m making some changes around here…

When I started my first blog (mrkeenan.com) about five years ago now, I started it with the intention of documenting the changes I was making to my classroom and practice.  It was a fun site, supported by my burgeoning interest in Twitter as a professional learning tool.  I posted app reviews and developed friendships with some wonderful developers who were looking to support teachers like me in the classroom by providing great software for the then new ‘iOS’ platform on iPods and then iPads.

Then things got busy.

I transitioned into completing a Masters program, started ghost writing, had another addition to the family, and while the blog continued to roll, it wasn’t the same thing to me anymore.  I wasn’t enjoying writing and posting on it as much. My blog received some great praise about how professional it was, and I now had some university professors using my content in their courses, but every post was a challenge and huge time commitment to get posted.  It’s great to put out fantastic resources and useful information, but I missed the connection I had with my readership and those who are trying to do great things for their students.  So, I started posting less and focusing on redesigning my personal life and fostering what had gotten me so passionate about education to start with.  That’s where I am now.  In a new school with new challenges, implementing and supporting technology from a humanist perspective.

So, here’s the reboot.

I’ve decided to move the blog, simplify it, and post on what I am passionate about, not always on professional learning, not always on apps, not always even on education.  I hope you enjoy the change; and if you’ve been with me from the beginning, I hope you read this post with a smile on your face as we get started having fun again!

Four Presentations on Technology for the ECEC Conference

I presented this in November at the Early Childhood Education Council Conference in beautiful Kananaskis Alberta.  This was the first specifically early-years conference I have had the pleasure of presenting to, and I quite enjoyed the perspectives, expertise and conversations that I had while in attendance.  However, my purpose with this post is to share the resources of the talks I gave at the conference, and hopefully some insights as to the value of these talks in my perspective. Please feel free to distribute these presentations as you see fit, and comment below if you would like to continue the conversation!

https://mrkeenan.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/ipad-and-apple-tv-as-classroom-solution-nov13.pdf

 https://mrkeenan.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/4-m-novel-writing-project-20-11.pdf

 https://mrkeenan.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/ipad-apps-for-an-engaging-classroom.pdf

[ https://mrkeenan.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/matching-engaging-tech-to-curricular-outcomes.pdf

 

Educational Technology

Using new devices to get to new learning.

Technology available to schools, and applications for that technology to student learning are constantly changing. What is far more essential to schools than the hardware in the building are the ways available technologies are being used to to true learning for students. With the importance of technology to school and district goals and outcomes, it is essential to ensure that the use of technology is not ‘entertainment time’ but rather opportunities to expand skills and develop new learning using technology effectively. This ability of students to connect and engage with learning outcomes as opposed to rehearsal exercises and flashy games needs to be the crux of the conversation in educational technology. When we get to discussions about real and effective learning instead of simply ‘engagement,’ technology will begin to make more sense as effective tools to be highly valued in schools.

Shifts in Education

We live in a transitional age.  It is easy to see that new approaches are necessary to deal with the advent of new technologies, philosophies and policies.  For me, this change means that educators need to have a voice, to make their beliefs plainly known so the key facets of teaching and learning are included in the shifting structures of society and education.

How does an educator ensure that they are clear on their beliefs?  They read and analyze the current educational discussion; that includes being involved in school, district, online conversations, and educational theory.