It is a pretty great time to be a geek in education. I’m at the cutting edge of everything, just by being on the internet. Right now, Edtech is such a huge thing, and the industry and moving incredibly fast. You almost have to be an internet geek to keep up with everything. Dealing with this generation of students is also an important factor, since they (and Dawn is completely included in this) actually grew up in a world where things like easy access to the internet were the norm. So, here’s some of the cool things my geekiness has helped me with as a professor.

Classroom of the future ... or the present? Photo by Evan.

Classroom of the future … or the present? Photo by Evan.

Twitter

The running joke among educators on twitter is who needs professional development when you have twitter! It’s actually pretty accurate. I can use twitter to connect with other educators and we share ideas and things we find online. I can follow people live tweeting conferences that I can’t get to. I can also participate in twitter chats on educational topics such as tech, pedagogy, and flipped classrooms. I actually started a professional twitter just to keep up with all of this and not drive my personal friends crazy.

Blogs

A lot of good information in teaching and pedagogy can be found in other teacher’s blogs. They talk about things they’ve tried, what works and doesn’t, and what they want to try in the future. It’s also a good place to keep track of educational news, since places such as the Chronicle of Higher Ed and Inside Higher Ed maintain a number of blogs and news feeds.

Learning Management Systems

These are the online networks that schools use to run online courses and supplement in-class courses. We use Blackboard. I don’t love it, but as a geek, using a system like that comes naturally to me. I’m good at poking around and finding out new things to play with. Also, if I’m having trouble with simple things like formatting, I feel comfortable switching to html and just making the appropriate changes. I’m mostly teaching everyone else at my school how to use Blackboard. I suppose it’s the educational equivalent of relatives asking you to fix their computer.

Keeping Up With the Students

As well as my twitter, I have a facebook fan page, I skype, I share GoogleDocs, and I’m generally on the internet all the time. I like this because my students have no excuse for not getting in touch with me. Some of my students even follow me on twitter, so I follow them back. Of course, at least one of them should probably sensor what they say a little bit better, but I’m not about to judge. I’ve corrected labs over GoogleDocs. I skype with my online students. They appreciate that I live in their world.

Anyway, just some thoughts I’ve had recently being the tech guru at my school. I even started a faculty tech club, it’s pretty amusing. Here’s an infographic from the people over at Learn Stuff showing some great stats on all this.

Graduating With Technology

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