March 30, 2009

Integrating Technology into the Family

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mark Glowacz @ 8:00 AM

Much is discussed about integrating technology into the curriculum. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to implement.

As educators we are partners with the parents of our students to prepare them for what is next. In my case, it is preparation for college and beyond. The reality of that statement is that technology is an important part of that preparation.

Technology integration does not have to be exclusive to the classroom. In fact, I think families who find ways to use technology to communicate are giving their children significant advantages in school and beyond. Another benefit is that parents will probably be more aware of what their children are doing with technology, especially when it comes to social networking.

So, where to begin…

My wife and I have looked at Famundo but our experimenting has been limited. My oldest child is less than 3 years old so texting “Where are you?” isn’t in our normal day yet.

21st Century Learning blog had a short post titled, “The Family that Geeks Together – Stays Together” and is another example of tech use in the family.

Teachers who integrate a little technology into their family lives could probably help themselves become more comfortable with tools that will then be less intimidating in the classroom. Not exactly a silver bullet for anything but it could be a small step in the right direction towards technology integration in the classroom.


March 26, 2009

Facebook Accounts for Teachers – Professional or Not?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mark Glowacz @ 9:27 PM
Facebook Screen Shot

Facebook Screen Shot

I’m pleasantly surprised that I received a comment already and more importantly a great question was posed – is it professional or unprofessional for a teacher to have a Facebook account?

Let me give you the short answer. Yes.

In my opinion, having a Facebook account is no different than having a personal web page. Having it is neither professional or unprofessional. What you do with a Facebook account can have consequences to your professional life.

Personally, I like Facebook but have not obsessed over it. I treat it like any other personal relationship I might have. If someone asks me to be friends, my first litmus test is would I go out of my way to have a drink or dinner with that person? If not, I ignore the request. Tamar Weinberg, a social media expert, wrote an etiquette article that I think should be required reading even if you don’t agree with him.

Do teachers and Facebook accounts mix? Sure. Remember this – if you wouldn’t do or say something around your peers, boss or mother then you shouldn’t say or talk about it on Facebook.

Teachers who do use Facebook can be better authorities on the subject when helping students understand the consequences of Facebook usage. Illustrate a now famous story of a bank intern getting fired or more recently a teen suing former classmates for defamation.

Facebook can be a great tool to reconnect with friends and family. It can also be public proof that you might be a goofball and can’t be trusted with serious job responsibilities.

March 23, 2009

Hello SMCA!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mark Glowacz @ 6:31 PM

Anyone who has taken a computer programming course probably remembers their first “Hello World!” program. This being my first blog post, I think the title says it all.

The SMCA IT blog will be a source of information on the happenings in the IT department, interesting articles or resources we come across during our research and visits to conferences and anything potentially useful or thought provoking in the area of technology.

I encourage you to post comments and provide feedback on what you read here. Your involvement could drive the content of future posts and, ideally, translate into real technology change around St. Michael’s.

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