Technology is Changing the Way We Teach | Cyndi Danner-Kuhn

Last week’s Blogger of the Week, Cyndi Danner-Kuhn, took some time out of teaching and blogging to reflect on her love of learning and technology tools in an interview. To learn more about Cyndi Danner-Kuhn’s blog Technology Bits, Bytes, and Nibbles: News, Tips, Tricks & Resources for Integrating Technology into Teaching click here.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your role in technology integration in education. 

I am a faculty member and the Education Technology Integration Coordinator for the Kansas State University College of Education. I am an educational futurist who works to leverage technology for the benefit of learners. I am an educator, digital storyteller, blogger and digital change agent, artist and friend. I address a range of topics related to technology integration, distance learning, education, business and twenty-first century literacy. I am a catalyst for creative engagement and collaborative learning. Additionally, I am an experienced graphic designer, website designer, author and technology consultant. I have written and facilitated over $850,000 in technology grants in Kansas. Bear in mind, I am not a geek/techie. I know many geek/techies, and I am absolutely NOT one of them. Geek/Techies are excited by creating the technology. I am excited by what that technology can do and about discovering the possibilities. Technology is changing the way we do business, teach, and learn, in the 21st century. I am a part of that change.

What drives and motivates your passion about education, your love of learning?

This is a tough question, I can say, I have always wanted to be a teacher, can’t remember ever wanting to do anything else.  I do know that when I discovered my first Mac, way back in 1985, I was hooked and it that threw me into a different arena and I just loved the technology and immediately saw the potential.  It was transformational for me and my Journalism program.

It has always been exciting when you see a student who “get its”. I think some of it comes down to the fact that I taught journalism for so many years.  These days, it is so darn easy to “publish.” Between websites, blogs, wiki’s and twitter, I publish something in some format every day.  I see that excitement in my students when they publish something and realize that somebody besides just one teacher is actually going to see and read it.  It is just rewarding!!  From that point, I am motivated to find new stuff to learn and then share with my students. It is so much fun, and learning should and needs to be fun!!

Do you have any role models or bloggers you follow?    

I would have to say that I faithfully read Wesley Fryer, Moving at the Speed of Creativity, and I also read/scan a slew of others: Kevin Honeycutt, Chris Lehman, Richard Byrne, Vicki Davis, Lucy Gray, Scott MeLeod, Cliff Mins, Lisa Durff, Silvia Tolisano, Will Richardson, Jeff Utech, Ken Royal, David Warlick  (all linked on my home page).

Additionally,  there are series of Podcasts I listen to each week. I really find podcasts productive, I listen on the treadmill, walking across campus, anywhere.  I sure waste a lot less time these days. I listen to:  Wesley Fryer, The Tech Chicks, Classroom 2.0 Live, Ed Tech Talk-various shows, but my favorite each week is Ed Tech Weekly on Sunday evening, Driving Questions, Seedlings, etc.

And of course, Twitter & Plurk (@cyndidannerkuhn)  I use TweetDeck on my desktop so I do not need to navigate to the Twitter page to read tweets. Before the Twitter desktop clients like TweetDeck, I really struggled with Twitter, but TweetDeck transformed the tool into a necessary part of my learning each day. I just glance at them when I have a moment . I know I miss lots, but I learn something every time I look at the tweets or I find something to share with my colleagues and students, or something that makes me think. It is powerful learning when it is convenient for me.

For me, the blogs, podcasts & Twitter/Plurk, serve as my daily dose of professional development, and best of all, it is FREE and I don’t have go anywhere.  I absolutely learn something new every day.

What are a few of your favorite web 2.0 tools to use in the classroom?

Oh my, the list is long for sure. I am not a huge wiki user, but I do have a pretty extensive one. It was developed with a teacher friend of mine, Mary Frazier, Buhler KS, as a method to share a wealth of resources in an organized way.  It certainly works, but, I have to admit that I am not a huge user of wikis.

But as far as Web 2.0  tools go, Delicious, Diigo, Voicethread, Animoto, Glogster, Flickr, Google tools, anything interactive, collaborative and of course FREE.   Recently there was an Ed Tech Talk Weekly show about Web 2.0 tools and how much would you pay to keep using them.  That really gave me pause for thought! What would I pay?  $10, $30, $50, etc….  There are ones I would pay for sure. On that note, I hate the ones with monthly fees, I don’t mind a flat free once a year, and if is more than 30 bucks, I generally try to figure out if I am going to really use it.  I know $30 sounds cheap, but it really ads up when you use very many. Like pretty much all teachers, my funds are quite limited.

– Cyndi Danne-Kuhn

To learn more about Cyndi Danner-Kuhn, read this article.

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