Sunday, December 13, 2009

Inside a Cyber Studio: Janice Conger

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/tuesday) 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.

Janice Conger

  1. Where do you live? Collegeville, PA, US
  2. How long have you been working w/ technology/education? 7 years
  3. What OS/platform do you use for your work? Windows
  4. What is your favorite Web 2.0/21st Century tool and why? Wiki. It can be used for so many things. I actually created a wiki for a 5th grade teacher to use for her students to journal about their reading. You might think a blog would be better but the teacher loved it because each student could have their own page. And, wikis are easy, teachers can use them without too much of a learning curve.
    I also use Wordle quite a bit with my students. It is an excellent tool for everything from spelling to poetry.
  5. What is the biggest misconception about technology? That we have to use technology for technology's sake. If a lesson works better without technology don't use it. But if a technology tool can enhance a lesson by all means go for it!
  6. What are the biggest hurdles you face as a technology educator? Getting technology into the hands of students, limited by the lack of computers in the library. 10 is not enough when class sizes are 25 to 30. The other hurdle is typing. Students in my district do not get typing until 6th grade. That is too late.
  7. What has been your biggest success in technology integration? Videoconferencing. My teachers are sold, anytime I present a videoconferencing idea they are more than willing to put the work necessary into having the videoconference. On December 14th we are doing Cookies with Santa (K, T-1, and 1) and it requires quite a bit of pre-conference preparation but teachers love videoconferencing so they are willing to do the prep work.
  8. What has been your biggest setback in technology integration? Loosing all technology funding for this school year, the Superintendent just took all the funding away (after we sent the new technology plan to the state). It was just cut out of the budget. There were supposed to be 4 new SMART Boards for my building this year but the money was cut. There is not enough technology to go around.
  9. Who/what has been your biggest inspiration in technology/education? My biggest inspiration has been my Personal Learning Network. I follow many teachers, librarians, and technology integrators via social networking. When I have a problem I turn to them.
  10. Where do you see technology integration heading in the future? Portable devices. I like one to one laptop programs but can't really afford that but I think once a tablet PC or Mac comes out that it will change the face of education.
  1. What is your favorite book? Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
  2. What is your favorite movie? Princess Bride or Bachelor Mother
Next on Cyber Studio: Kay Tibbs

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