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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Beginning to Understand Technology

While it is fantastic to innovate the classroom via technology with new gadgets, sometimes it is also good to re-establish roots and understanding of all the technology already available.

In this vein of thought, the Diigo Education Group focused on the article: Technology 101 by ProfHacker, a website under the purview of The Chronicle of Higher Education. First, they mention ThatCamp (link here: This is an "unconference" which is held every year at the Center for History and New Media from 2008 through to the present. The topic of this year's conference contained a theme of "back to basics".

This return to understanding the basics of technology includes such gems as Google's Teach Parents Tech Form (one can only send 12 videos at a time; however, the videos are available on the site) and focus on the importance of building a foundation to facilitate utilizing technology with greater ease. The ability to use technology is important not only for the ability to actually use one's phone, but it is important for teachers in order to better integrate technology with the classroom.

Items that some people take for granted, such as copy/paste may seem too "beginner" for some, but it is important to know. Are there keyboard commands to do copy and paste? (The answer is "yes".) What about passwords? Is your password secure? (If the password is a sequential string of numbers like "12345678" probably not.) A password is important because even if your security software that protects all internet interactions is top-notch, if your lock is the equivalent of a piece of yarn then it negates the security. Can you search the internet? (If the only bookmarks in the browser are links that a friend sent, the answer is probably "no".) How do you turn off that annoying spell check? (The alternative question is how to turn it back on after one too many homophones slip by.) How do I know a link goes to the same place the face of it tells me? (Hint: hover your mouse over the link, but do not click! You can read the address of the place it is attempting to send you.)

Hopefully, the link to Technology 101 article (posted again here for your convenience: ) will help answer these questions and help give a solid foundation in the basics to all who read it.

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