If I were to dream about what students at my school should be able to do with technology someday, it would look something like what this 7th grade student is doing right now. After watching this video you’ll see that this student is using, almost exclusively, free tools that are available online. Most of the tools she uses require her to have her own e-mail, something we have not trusted our students with yet. Many of the sites and tools she uses are also blocked at my school. It’s seems clear that rather than blocking anything that might possibly be misused, her school has trusted her and granted her freedom to use these tools for learning. It also seems clear that her teachers have modeled and taught her responsible Internet use and encouraged her to take charge of her own learning. She understands what is appropriate for school and what should be used at home and realizes that the freedom she has been given should not be taken for granted. As she works, the idea of citing resources and giving credit for other people’s work seems almost automatic. For her, learning is fun and she seems inspired to follow her curiosity - extending her learning beyond the curriculum.
Thanks Jim Gates for posting this on your blog and @GDhuyvetter for sharing this on Twitter this morning. You got this video stuck in my head - shining a light on where I am and showing me how much farther I still have to go. We'll get there...someday.