Family Parenting Work

Colliding Worlds

I am a bit of a technology nut. Okay, that’s actually a huge understatement. Let’s just say “I like me some gadgets!” If I wasn’t married with two children and a mortgage, I’d be all over buying the newest products all the time. Now I feel bad buying a compact flash card for my camera.

I’m all for the integration of media. Integrate away baby! Make everything you can accessible to me when I need it. And better yet, let’s equip our children for this world. My three-year-old can rock an iPad just as much as some of the Apple employees. I’m only half kidding. She can use a computer. And it is 100 percent important to me that from kindergarten on, her classroom has the ability to put that technology in her hands and teach her to learn from it.

I’d love to see her using an eBook in elementary school. There is no excuse for “oh I forgot my history book at school.” I’d love to see the classes using Twitter, not just to communicate to the outside world but so I know what they are doing in the classroom. Talk about a way to promote parental engagement and transparency. I want her to be able to use a mobile device to interact. Shy kids don’t always do well in class but if given the option to type an answer or respond to a discussion virtually, they blossom.

This weekend, at my sister-in-law’s high school graduation, this happened.

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/24745156 w=400&h=300]

Commencement address from on Vimeo.

Think about the implications of this. Students communicating with teacher, teachers communicating with parents, students connecting with each other, not just in school but beyond. Do you know how many people I lost touch with over the years? We went on to college with the best of intentions but people didn’t return written letters because they got busy, phone numbers changed, e-mails were ignored. But now, we’ve reconnected and while we might not communicate every day, we do have an idea what is going on in the lives of our friends and, at least for me, it’s harder to drift away.

I couldn’t have been happier to see a teacher embracing this technology. On stage, in front of all of the students, parents and other educators. It was so exciting to see where this could go and know that I could be apart of it.