Volume 1, Number 2

Activate: The Journal of Technology-Rich Learning

Spring 2001

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Technology Landscapes:
Adapting to Changing Learning Environments 
Explore the changing landscape of learning. Regardless of whether you feel like you're alone in the arctic or with friends at the beach, this session will help you climb the mountain of success with your technology projects. Survive in unknown technology territory by applying your knowledge of good teaching practice, adapting your current skills, and forming new relationships.
After reading the introduction below, explore the following discussions of technology landscapes:
Let's begin with a book. Reading has always been and will continue to be an important part of the learning environment. The 2000 Newbery award winning book called A Year Down Yonder, by Richard Peck focuses on a teenager growing up in the late 1930s.
My parents were born during the 1930s, so my only understanding of that time period is oral history and literature. Combining a book and Internet can bring a new dimension to learning about the past. For example, in the book, the teenage girl leaves on the train from the Dearborn Station in Chicago. You can use the Internet to see what the station looked like in the 1930s and what the Wabash Blue Bird train looked like. Some children in Illinois did wonderful oral history reports on the 1930s you can read on the web including information about the CCC and other work programs discussed in the novel. Our main character enjoyed listening to Kate Smith on the radio. Who was Kate Smith and what did she sound like? You can see and listen at the Kate Smith website. When you read the online biography of the author, Richard Peck, you can learn even more about what life was like going to school in the 1930s.
The landscape of education has changed since the setting of A Year Down Yonder. My parents experienced school in the 1940s and 1950s. I experienced school in the 1960s and 1970s. My children witnessed schools in the 1980s and 1990s. A friend recently sent me a wonderful picture of her class in Hudson, Ohio using laptops in the classroom. Times have changed. As a child I saw the use of the film and reel-to-reel audio player. As a teacher I saw the introduction of the microcomputer and CD player. The technology has changed, but has the learning environment changed? You decide.

A Year Down Yonder
Richard Peck

The "A's"
Seeking Help from Technology
Adapting to Change
Changing the Landscape
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 Created by Annette Lamb, 02/01.