Technology in all its forms have fascinated me since I was a child. I am thrilled that the opensource and DIY technologies are not just surviving, they are thriving. I love to see what wonderful possibilities and opportunities are available to teachers, parents and students in this vast World Of Electrons.
Conversations continue on the topic of DIY vs corporate, packaged simulacrums of what is available online....imitation copies that corporations convince administrators and technology directors will be "just as good" as what a teacher and class can create themselves. I strongly disagree.
A twitter colleague, @garageflowers, just cited a blog post on this topic, I Guess I'm Still a Punk.
After reading this blog post, I had to share my comments to the author, @glassbeed, with my readers. Mostly, they relate to a basic tenet of teaching, about being prepared to stand up for what you believe. If you want to support DIY technology, I believe you should be prepared to describe, design and defend it.
Yes, I agree. This was a great post. I love DIY technology, and I have worked diligently to document and explain how teachers can use it effectively in their classes or with students.
I was just thinking about your post when I went to my blog to capture my url and saw that WeatherPixie is down. This is a prime example of the downside of DIY technology. Teachers must prepare for the positive, as well as negative aspects of DIY technology in their classes.
WeatherPixie has been a pivotal widget for teachers and students. The developer of WeatherPixie is not the problem, but the company who owns the server that supports her website had a fire. This was a problem that she couldn't help, but it highlights a problem that tech directors and administrators can cite to keep teachers from using these free online tools. Teachers must be prepared.
Another concern associated with opensource products and online tools is that they are ephemeral. They may be here today and gone tomorrow, for any number of legitimate reasons. That makes it difficult for teachers to really go to the wall arguing for the use of this technology. They must be prepared.
I am saying use this developing technology, but a teacher must be VERY agile and have backup plans in case tools aren't available. Also, teachers should decide how they will console students if their projects are lost. They must be prepared.
It is great to be a DIY tech person, but you have to be prepared;D