I sometimes hear people refer to our Next Generation Learning program as a “tech integration” program, but it’s really more than that. Team NextGen is for anyone who wants to do better things with technology and, while we certainly welcome the geeks and de facto IT folks who seem to gravitate to the program, the people we really want on our team are the folks who aren’t quite sure how their tech works- the folks who are a little intimidated by social media, the ones whose eyes glaze over a bit when the EduBabble starts to include words like MOOC, Wiki, Prezi, and TweetChat.
If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen me use the hashtag #TeamNextGen. Now, the words “Next Generation” get thrown around a lot in the EduSphere these days (which always takes an old Trekkie like me by surprise, honestly) and they’ve come to mean a lot of things besides this:
For us at AUNE NextGen is about a new way of thinking about learning. For our alumni and friends, it’s about using technology to deepen the way our students experience Critical Skills and Place Based Learning and Educating for Sustainability. For our like-minded colleagues, it may start with their efforts to creat Essential, Expeditionary Learning, or Democratic schools. It’s about learning your available technology well enough to use it well with the constructivist pedagogy you’re already using so that kids not only achieve the technology goals of the Common Core, but also become engaged citizens of our digital world.
Learning first, technology second- but you have to know your tech before you can use it well.
So, if you never imagined yourself as a “technology person,” and you’re a little afraid of that SmartBoard or iPad that’s arrived in your classroom, we’d love to have you join us.
Welcome to Team Next Gen. It’s not quite the Final Frontier, but you’re in for one heck of an adventure.