Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Impact of Election Technology on K12

I was simply blown away by the different media technologies, some new and some older, that I interacted with on election day this past Tuesday. As someone who does not own a traditional television, I'm always searching out ways to find what I'm missing through TV on the Internet. At school on Tuesday morning I worked with Mary Jean Conlon, our super librarian at Castilleja, to get the CNN online coverage up and running in the library so students and teachers would be able to check out the coverage. After school was over, I tuned into this same online coverage on my laptop in my office. A few minutes after I began watching, CNN used hologram technology to bring a Grant Park reporter into the studio virtually (see screenshot). As an edtech nerd, the first thing that came into my mind was, "Wait until skype offers this feature!" In all seriousness, think of the implications on K12 education this technology might have?? Hey, two way skype video as a tool to bring experts from around the world into our classrooms makes for some powerful learning, but wait until we can hologram folks into our classroom!! Think of the possibilities!

I also really enjoyed CNN's multiple streams in their online coverage. I loved having the option to toggle between different just seemed to add to the excitement in a way that static/traditional TV can't do.

The other media avenue that I fully enjoyed participating in was Twitter. I was completely glued to the Twitterstream...I follow people from all over the world and it was so interesting to get this first person, "boots on the ground" perspective that simply is not possible through the traditional television media. I absolutely loved the social nature of the experience, with twitterpals from all over the place sharing their take on the historic day. Again, the edtech geek in me thought about the possibilities associated with this form of media in the classroom. Twitter is a fantastic platform for building a network and for "making friends all over the world," which is something that Alan November thinks we should be teaching our kids to do (and I happen to agree with him). Once you have a "boots on the ground" network of people all across the globe, the possibilities for authentic learning becomes nearly limitless.

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