I teach pre-service teachers at Fresno State University. The other day I was teaching my students about PLN’s (Personal Learning Network) and the SAMR model. I was blessed to have the perfect object lesson to demonstrate both the power of Twitter and SAMR. I noticed one of my students composing a tweet “What is Google Glass?” I could explain it to him, but I do not have Google Glass. I could only give a 3rd hand perspective. However, I know someone who does have Google Glass…
I sent out a tweet to @adambellow to see if he might tweet a few things about what Google Glass is. Within minutes Adam replied that he would be happy to do a Google Hangout with my class to answer questions.
Adam is in New York and I am in California. Within minutes of a student wondering about something that is outside of the prepared curriculum I was able to bring in a guest speaker, from another state, and who has first person knowledge of Google Glass. In addition, Adam is not your run of the mill guy who happens to have Google Glass, he is an incredible educator who shares, does innovative things, is the founder of https://educlipper.net/ (create student portfolio’s with educlipper), a Google Certified Teacher and was the keynote speaker at the ISTE conference in 2013.
Using Twitter as part of my PLN I am able to connect with experts and innovators in my field. I am not restricted by geographical boundaries. I have the chance to get up to date first person information that I can share with my students. I am able to let go of the idea that I am the holder of all knowledge and the expert in the room. I am able to let the curiosities of students shape the classroom conversation because we can go out and connect with people who can answer our questions and give new perspective. This is the power of Twitter.
The SAMR model is a guide for how we use technology in the classroom. When we replace the old school overhead projector with a $500 document camera and a $2000 LCD projector what changes have been made to the learning environment besides a more expensive light bulb? We are looking to use technology to transform what is possible. What can you now do with the technology that you could not do before? This is the Redefinition level of SAMR.
A few years ago if a student had a question that I was not an expert in I could give a surface level answer and maybe a promise I would go to the library and find more information on the topic. Or more likely suggest the student go to the library and look it up and that is the end of that conversation. With Twitter and a video conferencing tool such as Google Hangout on Air I can redefine what is possible in the classroom. My classroom is not bounded by the 4 walls and what I know. This is how technology can make the learning experience better.
While I planned to tell my students about PLN’s and SAMR, Adam Bellow was able to let my students experience it. I am grateful.
Adam Bellow’s keynote from ISTE 2013
P.S. I should also mention I was also covering what makes a good “PowerPoint” presentation slide deck. Take a look at Adam’s slides from ISTE if you want to see a master at slides! Adam was an example to my class 3 ways this week.