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Practicing Tech

allisonletts's picture

This post was written on an iPad. I tried to correct all typos, but some of them might still remain... My fingers aren't quite as sure about here they go without physical keys.

I'm pretty sure I referenced this article for Alice's Ed Tech class, but it's a good one, so I'm going to pull it out again: 

I've been thinking a lot about how we're using tech in this class, both with iPads and with twitter. I've seen quite a few comments on twitter especially, but also here on Serendip, that the tech is in some ways lowering the depth of connection we have with each other as we engage with the material. That has looked like playing with the iPads instead of listening to the entire iPad introduction, as well as occasionally forced conversations or overwhelming conversations on twitter. I can write this blog post on my iPad, but I can't yet use it seamlessly when I'm interacting with someone. At this point, I really don't know enough about the iPad for it to work quite as well for me as my computer. I've been using it in as many different situations as possible--passing it around to sign up for snacks for my a cappella group, bringing it along any time I might want to use Internet, and trying to push past some of the initial slowness of learning the tech. To be fair, I have an iPhone, so I'm already familiar with multitouch gestures and the way I-devices work.

Here's my proposal: that we continue to take some time within our experience of using iPads and twitter and call it discovery and exploration time--really, just formalized practice time. There's definitely something to be said for actually feeling like you're using the tech in a productive way, but maybe some time where there isn't any expectation of application would get us to become more fluent in our use of the tech.


I think my original definition of literacy is once again relevant: literacy is a way of directly connecting with someone. By this standard, our tech literacy is still definitely developing. Ideally, at the end of this semester, we should be able to use twitter and iPads to create stronger connections with people, rather than feeling like the use of tech is weakening our ability to connect.

My question is: what does "practice" look like on the iPad? On twitter?

Using the framework presented by the article above, what standards should we be assessing ourselves on? What is important for developing tech literacy in a way that will strengthen our connections with each other?