Sunday, November 18, 2007

Connect with millennial students...and new colleagues

A colleague recently shared an article with me that included this quote:

All adults who work with youth should be aware of how young people communicate, fall in love and stay connected; I encourage teachers to try social networking services, to have a blog, to text message with their own families and friends. Experienced teachers will not only gain a better sense of the world their students live in -- indeed, a world their students are creating -- they will have a greater understanding of the young teachers entering the profession.

That's right. In case you hadn't noticed, the internet generation is graduating to the work force. I doubt a 23-year-old, freshly minted teacher is going to stop interacting online simply because she has begun a Grown-Up Career! Besides, considering the pay scale for first-year teachers, the internet will be the only entertainment she can afford for a while. (Not that she'll have time for more than the occasional tweet,given her new workload.)

I think this is some of the best advice possible for educators who are wondering how to integrate technology into their classrooms. As teachers, we are constantly challenged for ways to connect with our students (and as parents, ways to stay connected with our children). Becoming more familiar with their world, in other words, gaining street credibility, is just one. Gaining a better understanding ourselves of ways to naturally and seamlessly include technology in our teaching and activities and assessments is a bonus.

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