October 2, 2012

Dear Otto: How Do I Prepare for an Unknown Tech Future?

tech questionsDear Otto is an occasional column where I answer questions I get from readers about teaching tech. If you have a question, please complete the form below and I’ll answer it here. For your privacy, I use only first names.

Here’s a great question I got from Sandy:

For the pass 10 years I have taught computer for 3K and 4K Early Education. Also each year that I have taught they have added a grade level to my schedule. So at this point I now teach 3K, 4K, and Kindergarten through 4th grade. I would like to take some continuing education courses in this field to better educate my students. I have already taken the Microsoft Office 2007 Master Certification Course and I intend on taking the Microsoft 2010 course as well (even though I passed the course using the Office 2010 software, I would just like to have the more updated certificate). I am also looking into taking a “Computer Support Technician” Certificate Program. My question to you is…do you have any suggestions on courses that I could take to educate myself more in this field to keep up with the fast technology pace, especially with our young kids today educating themselves through all of today’s tech devices? Currently I concentrate on Keyboarding Skills, Computer Parts and Terminology, Research, Online Safety, proficiency in MS Word, Excel, and Power Point. What do you suggest?

I think the best approach is to develop your PLN, connect with tech professionals who you trust, and shares thoughts, ideas, lesson plans. Attend any conference (like ISTE or local ones) that you can to see what’s happening. Try everything that inspires you. Blog with your students. Get them on wikis. Have them create Storybirds and Animotos and iMindmaps. Some will work. Some you’ll learn from. Browse your e- colleagues and see what they’re doing.

Technology is changing so rapidly, education can’t keep up. Even if we as tech teachers can, our counterparts in the core subjects can’t and that brings its own set of problems. Know what is required from technology by your school’s standards, be they Common Core, NETS-S, IB, or State. Often, that revolves around:

  • publish/share
  • collaborate
  • transfer knowledge
  • show evidence of learning

Do those with technology.

Readers: How do you prepare for a future you can’t see? Maybe can’t even imagine?

To ask Otto a question, fill out the form below:

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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a K-6 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, creator of two technology training books for middle school and six ebooks on technology in education. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco guest blog, Technology in Education featured blogger, IMS tech expert, and a bi-weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s editing a thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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