Friday, September 18, 2009

Inside the Cyber Studio: Buffy J. Hamilton

Due to the popular response I've decided to issue two columns a week instead of one. I will post one at the beginning (monday) of the week and then one at the end (friday). Otherwise, it would just take to long to get through all of them.

Keep in mind the questions might change from time to time (especially as technology changes), and I'm looking to provide other formats as well (audio/video).

I hope you all find this to be a fun/exciting journey as we get to learn a bit more about each other and why we love technology & education.

Buffy J. Hamilton

  1. Where do you live? Canton, Georgia
  2. How long have you been working w/ technology/education? This is year 18
  3. What OS/platform do you use for your work? Windows
  4. What is your favorite Web 2.0/21st Century tool and why? Wow---it is hard to choose just one! My most powerful tool right now is probably Google Reader---I am able to pull the feeds from my favorite RSS feeds (blogs, Twitter, web pages) and to share items with friends and colleagues--I especially love the sharing and "bundles" features. I would have to say Twitter is a VERY close second, though---it was and continues to be a MAJOR player in my personal learning network. Facebook is now third---I love using it to share and network with my colleagues/friends.
  5. What is the biggest misconception about technology? The biggest misconception is that a technology itself can disrupt and change education---instead, the power lies in the thoughtful and effective application of a particular technology.
  6. What are the biggest hurdles you face as a technology educator? Helping teachers feel comfortable trying new tools and cultivating a culture that motivates teachers to be open to the possibilities that Web 2.0 tools can present for learning.
  7. What has been your biggest success in technology integration? My work w/ my Media 21 Capstone project has been my biggest success so far and is still a work in progress. I work daily w/ two sections of 10th Honors English--we are regularly using a class wiki, and students are using blogs to reflect their learning process. Students are also building a learning portfolio using Google Sites. We will be adding additional tools like Google Reader, Diigo, delivious, and Twitter for information sharing, backchanneling in class, and collaboration. Other teachers who are not part of the project have become curious, and I have several teachers now using Google Docs and Google Sites w/ their classes as well. You can read more about my project at
  8. What has been your biggest set-back in technology integration? I personally have been fortunate to not have personally experienced setbacks in integration as I feel I grow and make progress each year; in addition, I am in a newer school and in the Media 21 program which has afforded me many opportunities to personally integrate technology into my practice. I am also fortunate to have an amazing personal learning network that has been incredibly instrumental in my professional growth the last 18 months. The biggest challenge I face as a librarian is that few teachers have had experience in working with a progressive librarian; in addition, the role of the library and librarian in education is never addressed in undergrad teacher ed, so creating collaborative partnerships with teachers takes extra work since few teachers have any expectations. I think if our district filter, which is progressive compared to neighboring districts, were to be opened up a little more, we could make even more forward strides---I will continue to advocate for that.
  9. Who/what has been your biggest inspiration in technology/education? I would have to say the work od Dr. Michael Wesch and Wendy Drexler are my inspiration for the Media 21 project work I'm doing in cultivating a classrom of inquiry that helps created, "connected students" who are developing a personal learning network. I fear I will leave out names if I start identifying additional educators and librarians who influence and inspire my work, but you might start w/ librarians I follow via my Google Reader at
  10. Where do you see technology integration heading in the future? I feel cloud computing and open source apps will play an increased role as well as device that are multifunctional; I also feel the power of mobile computing is waiting to be mined by K-12!
  1. What is your favorite book? Prince of Tides, Great Gatsby, English patient.
  2. What if your favorite movie? Field of Dreams, Casanlanca, Apollo 13

Next on Cyber Studio: Dan Johnson

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