Digitally Aware: Promoting Purposeful Use of the Web in the Digital Era
With all the recent technology changes buzzing about, I decided to go out into the community for some new ideas. Technology in education is a growing concern for teachers and students alike. Teachers need to become more aware of how to use digital technology and media in their curriculum, as well as students learning how to embrace these technological advances for the sake of their future. It seems that someone needs to help to open the eyes and strengthen this awareness to the students and teachers.
Jeremy Weber, 23, did just that. Weber is a senior at Mercyhurst College, majoring in Art Education. He also attended U-Arts in Philadelphia for two years with a major in Painting. During his work-study program, assigned by Art Education Director, Camille Nischal, he has done much work in the field of technology research. As an extension of this work-study, his findings in research sparked an interest and passion for spreading technological awareness to local schools.
I attended Weber’s teaching workshop entitled “Digitally Aware: Promoting Purposeful Use of the Web in the Digital Era”, and was completely blown away. Being a student myself, working for a technology company, I was able to both share and learn information throughout the presentation. This workshop included ways to leverage technology and web tools to benefit the overall learning experience for students. Through social networking, wiki-host sites, folksonomies, and blogging, students were strongly urged to utilize the internet for more than just checking their own personal website or chatting with friends.
Weber believes that technology plays an important role in benefiting students’ futures. “I care about the youth and education. My courses at Mercyhurst have showed me that a majority of classes don’t have the type of tech prep that they need to live in today’s society, moreover, tomorrow’s.” Jeremy states. “[As educators] we need to start preparing students for their future, not ours.” Weber is a strong believer in universal learning; it is vital that everyone learns the ins and outs of technology to be successful in the future. “The majority of people aren’t using technology like they should.” Weber adds. He is a strong advocate for promoting 21st century learning skills, and plans to embrace this style of learning throughout his teaching career.
So what did I learn at this workshop? I learned that technology is an ever-changing element, and it is something that we cannot avoid but must embrace with every aspect of ourselves in order to succeed in a digital world. “The computer in your cell phone is a million times cheaper and a thousand times more powerful, and about a hundred times smaller (than the one computer at MIT in 1965). So what used to fit in a building now fits into your pocket, what fits in your pocket now will fit inside a blood cell in twenty-five years.” –Ray Kurzweil
For more information regarding the purposeful use of technology in the classroom, or for information on how to schedule a workshop at your school, please contact: