Monday, December 1, 2008

Hybrid lives at home, but not at school?

Think of all the ways we (adults) have integrated technology into our lives. Everything from basic communications to filing taxes to enjoying music and movies. The list is extensive. Does this mean we are living "hybrid lives"? We have some things that are not virtual, while other things are? Or, has the technology just become ubiquitous and thus not really a way of life, but just more -- LIFE itself?

For me, the web (and the outcropping of technologies) where an add on for the first few years of my exposure. THEN -- ALL OF A SUDDEN -- the concept that they were add ons to my life dissipated, and they just became "part of" my life. Now, I am in no way a superuser. But, without the web and the technologies I use, my life would be missing something for sure.

So, now think about kids (k-12). They are not from my generation. They did not have to make a transition from simply using tech tools to living by them. (That sounds strong, but I will leave it for now).

As I watch the kids get on the bus this morning, I think of how many of them will go to school, enter a classroom, and be asked to "turn off" from their technology assisted world? How many of them will sit in a classroom, listening to a teacher teach using the same methods that I learned from? I am not being critical, it is just a question. But, it is a good question.

Are we asking our kids to go to school and "disconnect"? If we are, we should rethink that. How many of us go to work and disconnect from the technology and tools that help us live? Very few I would imagine.

So, maybe this is our challenge. Maybe the challenge is to understand how kids live and how we actually live DAILY and apply that to education.


Kel Tech said...

Hi Mark! I'm a Bloom MSIT Alumni, and received your email today. I'm currently working on my PhD at Wayne State University in Detroit, and I'm at the Michigan Virtual University Symposium at Michigna State. One of the keynote speakers, Warren Buckleitner, spoke on some of the same thoughts that you present in this blog. You may want to check some of his work out.

Kelly L. Unger

Mark said...

Thanks Kelly -- I will certainly do so.

Karl Kapp said...


Great post and welcome to the education blogosphere!!

Anyway, I think that schools are a bit unplugged. I'd like to see technology used in each class from English, to History and science instead of having seperate "computer classes." I think integration is the key.

In fact, these kids are probably more "integrated" with technologies than you, me, thier teachers or even their parents.

Professor Phelps said...

Nice observation Mark. As teachers we just need to ask ourselves if virtual technology will be more, or less prevalent in the future of our students? I don't think too many people will answer less! We should make a special effort to integrate technology into our classes and assignments. Once these kids hit the workforce they will need these skills to flourish.

LloydDawson said...

Hi Mark! I'm an undergraduate student at James Cook University (JCU) in Townsville Australia approximately 1/2 way through my fourth and final year studying education.

Your posting is very apt in the educational climate at JCU. I have also attended a Prof. Dev't course with Tony Ryan ( on the integration of ICT's into classrooms. The momentum is gaining. Check out his website with a blog (one of the books) link. Keep up the great work.

Lloyd Dawson

Mark said...

Thanks Lloyd

I couldn't find his information from that site, but I did find some other really great resources - see my Blog/WIKI list for one.