Saturday, February 2, 2013

My Digital Life: A Timeline of Sorts

I thought I'd create a little timeline in honor of Digital Learning Day about the course of my digital learning.  Chronology  might be a little mixed up due to the fact that some of this was a LONG time ago.
  • About 1984: My HS added a computer class, I learned to write "go to " statements. Whatever.
  • Around this same time (I think...) my dad brought home a Commodore 64, I wasn't too interested in it, after all I could get a lot more excitement by playing Pong our Atari.
  • 1985 My big graduation gift from my parents was a typewriter that had a little screen and it could correct without white out or correction tape. I was pretty fired up about this one.
    • Called home from college once a week from a shared room phone. Long distance was expensive!
  • I don't really remember much about tech in college...we did have some kind of computer class, but nothing too memorable occurred in that for me, I guess.
  • 1992, asked by my principal to write a 4 R's grant to get Apple IIE 's in our K & 1st grade classrooms, got the grant & was then placed in charge of the PD for it.
    • This is a milestone! I've written about it before on this blog, but the way even the MOST reluctant writer took to typing a story & being able to put in floppy disk 2 for the super awesome pixelated graphics to enhance a story was the BEST! 
  • Also around this time a HUGE lifesaver was purchased for use at our home a wonder of wonders to the mom of 3 boys who at the time were all under 6 was a cordless phone! I could still chat with my sister and be mobile anywhere in my house? WOAH!
  • Writing in my inquiry driven 1st class was a huge part, I loved those Apple IIE's and what they could help my students express.
    • During this tech journey some of the things we loved were, KidPix & Hyperstudio, very creativity driven tools that the kiddos could use independently. 
    • One of my struggles was two computers & about 25 students, 
  • We moved to South Carolina, very exciting but sad to be far away from our extended families
  • The tech leader part of me continued in SC, I had an amazing Gateway computer in my class, this district was just getting started with tech so about 1 teacher per grade level had one. No tech support, just here is a cow box...have at it!
    • Fun outcome here was, since I had a lot more experience, my students became a building tech team (3rd graders) and often worked w/ teachers on trouble shooting or if we did a writing project with Kid Works Deluxe, my students would go teach another  class how to use it. They LOVED this.
  • 2nd year at this school I was asked to be an out of field licensed media specialist. Really the purpose was to advance the technology integration, I did tons of PD as we added more and more computers. (Props to all media specialist/librarians, I seriously had NO idea and was very unprepared for this position and have mad respect for the profession.)
    • We also got, through a grant, a whiteboard that after we wrote our notes, it would print them on nasty slick sort of fax paper. We thought this was WAY cool. 
  • Enter the purchase of our 1st home computer & dial up internet. Oh baby! We had saved & saved for this purchase. Our kids used KidPix, Kid Works Deluxe, Math Blasters, Interactive story books that I can't remember the name of & more...
    • I left the classroom &  bought a little business called CompuChild, it was a franchise that taught preschool computer ed classes in daycare centers. This let me work mornings only, teach in preschools and it was so great! I did this for a few years. I was the first person to purchase this franchise online!
    • The internet at home was awesome for emailing with my family back in Indiana, we  would chat using ICQ, or have a family chat in yahoo chat rooms.
    • I remember logging on, listening for the dial up tone, going in the kitchen, unloading the dishwasher, then going back in to the computer to see if we were connected yet.
    • I also got my first "car phone" during this time. I was cutting edge. It cost about a million dollars a minute to use and made your ear really hot, you had to flip it open and pull up the antenna. I thought I was hot stuff.
  •  We moved back to Indiana in about 1999, I began teaching 3rd grade again and had one desktop computer in my room for students and one on my desk & I was team teaching so my team teacher had one too.
    • We had the internet in our classroom and phones! Woo hoo!
    • We also had a tech director who thought elementary kids should never be on the computer, they would just break it.
      • I chose to be a ridiculous rule breaker. I let kids use both of our teacher computers for writing, let them go online, loaded my own programs on my computer and then unloaded them at the end of a project. Brought in my own computer from home, bought my own printer.
      • It was CRAZY frustrating to have great access & connectivity and a tyrant who kept kids from using it.
      • I continued using the classroom computers for writing mostly, a little research & we had a classroom newspaper that was a great authentic project the kids worked on weekly. 
      • I also got my Masters during this time through a distance ed program. The ladies in my cadre and I were the 1st class to do this at this particular school. It was done w/ VHS tapes that were mailed to us. We then met each week in our cadre to collaborate & reflect.
  • After a couple of years, remember the franchise I owned in SC CompuChild? Well the WHOLE company came up sale. My husband & I bought it  and did that for some years. I learned a lot about marketing, communication, SEO, google ads, website creation & marketing, We did all of our sales online and lots of support for our franchisees there, too.
  •  Getting broadband access happened somewhere in here, then the move on to wireless, too.
  • Next big jump came when we I was asked to be on a technology committee for our school corp. We had a forward thinking new Supt.(read about her here) who was ready to shake things up , thank goodness!
    • The tyrant of the tech dept retired. (In all fairness, he did a great job of getting our buildings all connected, great bandwidth, etc...he just didn't have the pedagogy thing)
      • We sold our company & I became the tech director:) It was the best! I felt like the good fairy! We un-handcuffed our teachers & they went to town connecting our students to the world!  I worked with awesome people on my team, fantastic teachers and super excited kids.
      • During the 5 years I was there we:
        • went 1:1 at the HS and wall to wall PBL as a part of the New Tech Network, added more bandwidth, projectors in every class, IWBs in every class, tons of digital cameras, video cameras docs, "legalized" cell phones, did TONS of PD, video conferencing equipment in every building and wrote a boatload of grants to help pay for all of those things. Our tech dept motto was "If a teacher needs it for student learning, make it happen or find a way"
        • I also got to work with the curriculum side of things so we weren't just throwing tools at teachers, but integrating them in meaningful ways to advance & engage students & staff in learning.
        • We did a LOT, I probably left a bunch off of that list!
  • I now am Online Community Manager for New Tech Network. A sort of typical tech day for me might include any or all of these and happen all mixed up all day long
    • Check twitter feed, open about 20 windows, check the links to retweet, or send to people who need the resources shared
    • Read local paper online & Indy Star online.
    • Check out Facebook page, see what our schools have been up to, share.
    •  Read blogs, write blog, share blogs
    • Check Google Analytics
    • Find resources on BYOT, AUP or other topics for school/teachers
    • Answer emails
    • Work on any number of presentations for schools or conferences
    • Skype with a class or group somewhere about digital footprints
    • Web ex or Vidyo w/ a teams or people from NTN who are likely to be anywhere from CA to NY
    • Check cell phone, texts, tweets etc.
    • Google chat is always open.
    • Participate in webinar on any number of topics
    • Prepare for #PBLChat, participate in other chats
    • Take iPad into the kitchen, use recipe I had pinned earlier to make dinner
    • Text kids, family, friends, work,
    • Maybe watch Netflix or something I dvr'd 
    • Shop online, plan & book vacations online, pin things to Pinterest for house ideas
    • Order books online, read book on Kindle or iPad
    • Find knitting pattern on Ravelry, download pattern to iPad knit with iPad propped on table and lurk on a twitter chat on my laptop.
I likely left out a bunch of things in the above list, technology has become such a ubiquitous part of my life. I don't even notice it, except when it doesn't work!
What are the milestones in your digital timeline!

1 comment:

  1. This is great! Made me think back to my tech timeline. Cool stuff! Always learning.