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July 5, 2012

Wesley Fryer discusses many professional development topics for educators, including the integration of technology, in his podcast, Moving at the Speed of Creativity. I listened to Podcast 381: Reach for the Stars Using Media in Your Classroom. Fryer gives a brief introduction to the podcast, which is a recording of a keynote address he gave in Concord, New Hampshire.

Fryer begins speaking about the importance of media and technology to students. Today’s student is totally immersed in these things. They are influenced by it everyday. Teachers should embrace this, because it’s only going to continue to grow and expand. Educators are responsible for helping young people learn to use technology appropriately. Technology often gets a bad reputation for the negative things that it is used for. It is up to teachers to change this perception. Fryer proposes that teachers share online at least one student digital text project, one student image project, one student audio project, one student video project, and one student collaborative project.

Next, he discusses current events in technology. He emphasizes e-books, and e-book readers. This is a technology that is quickly taking over the use of paper books. Fryer finds it important for teachers to try this technology for themselves.  Next he helps illuminate what technologies are beneficial for different types of classroom projects. For example, I Pads have many great uses in the classroom, but typing an essay isn’t one of them. Google Chromebook is another recent technology discussed in this podcast. This is a notebook designed for browsing the web at high speeds. Other benefits include long battery life and increased security.

Creativity is another key idea in Fryer’s podcast. He discusses the importance of letting students be creative and make things in order to facilitate their learning. He also stresses the importance of documenting and sharing these ideas. Collaboration is very important to successful education. Teachers need to discuss with each other what works and what doesn’t.

Fryer inspires teachers to challenge their students with media and technology. He gives some examples of incredible technology and media projects created by students. Most of the projects were created by 7th grade students. Teacher’s are ready he claims, to teach students how to use technology. They do not have to be masters, though mastery will come with practice.



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