Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dipping or Diving

Test (or performance) anxiety. From an experienced teacher’s standpoint, the symptoms are apparent; from a personal standpoint the void in the center of my being is alien, yet its presence is painfully making itself known as technology sweeps me into the unexplored territory of apps, mobile devices, and shareware.
For an old gal approaching 50, I am far from the digital fluency of my children and students even though they continually depend on me to answer their myriad “how to” questions. I’m reluctant to share with them that they are following a blind navigator, so I embrace their devices and software with a lingering sense of dread akin to diving into a frigid lake rather than slowly dipping hoping for submersion by tolerance.
Whatever the water temperature – any diver knows there are certain things for which one must prepare – knowledge of existing hazards, depth of water, swimming ability, length of time one can hold one’s breath, and diving technique. My diving ability doesn’t stop me from appreciating the expertise of seals and penguins as they flaunt their superb skills any more than my amazement at the ease in which even preschool children take to the endless array of information access.
For that reason, I am creating the podcast "What matters" that offers strategies to reduce the aprehension associated with written or performance assessment in hopes that my listeners will improve their test scores and feel better doing it - and while I'm at it, I'm helping myself. In the same way that I might prepare for a dive, I am preparing for my technological future because for this digital immigrant, that’s what matters.

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