After this week's readings and viewing the second part of Wesch's video again, I am finally beginning to get a grasp on the bigger technology picture...even as it is ever changing. It is (finally) dawning on me that this is not an "if" thing or an even to what extent type of prospect -- it is more like this is the way it is, the way it is going to be, and you either get on the train or get flattened on the tracks.
Wesch's video (though it wasn't part of this week's readings) with his example of using different platforms and having the students collaborate on big projects along with the online readings for this week really reinforce the idea of collaboration and socilization. That students can (and do...more effectively) work together on projects that encourage participation, creativity, and result in student generated contact. Clearly with the advent of wireless and full roaming networks, it is all about access and we have to realize that access is available almost everywhere. When will schools join in and use this to their educational advantage? It struck me as I was reading that at many schools (including the site I am at) student-owned technology is "banned." iPods are banned, phones are banned -- and I agree to the extent that at this point, I am willing to bet that students are not using those devices for educational purposes - but isn't that the point -- that we, as leaders, should use the emerging technologies to get and keep students engaged in education? Aren't they probably better than most of us anyway at creating web-based content? It just seems like we have gotten to the point where we have to embrace it and incorporate it -- the world is shifting and education has to shift with it.
Of course, policy and ethics plays a tremendous role in the appropriate/fair/acceptable usage of technology -- and that too is part of the educational process.