Archive for June, 2005

21st June
written by Tom Banaszewski

Two years ago, this blog began as a way to reflect on what it was like to leave teaching after ten years and go back to school to pursue some research into educational technology. The blog turned into a great way to keep track of my research. It started out mostly as a place to complain about the grad program I moved 1200 miles to take part in, but in the end it was a very useful concrete reminder of what I had accomplished in such a short time.

So, it’s all over. An M.S. in Information Design and Technology. I can you tell what makes one website better than another, how television and the Internet will most likely converge in the next few years, where video gaming is headed in the near future and if you’re not oohing and ahhing yet I can babble on about New Media theory and the social implications of the Internet for a few hours.

More importantly, if you want to know anything about digital storytelling I’m your guy. I left the classroom to figure how technology can be used to help people, students in particular, create, shape and share short first person stories. I think my thesis covers a lot. In a nutshell, if you want to students to tell effective digital stories, and to a larger extent use technology effectively, you must focus on three things: story literacy, visual literacy and media literacy. Currently, schools focus on teaching software – tool literacy – and overlook the essential underlying skills students must possess if they are to use technology to communicate effectively.

Graduation was over a month ago. I moved back to Boston, started looking for a teaching position at one of the Boston high schools that have reformatted under the Small High School initiative. No luck yet landing a position, but it’s early. I have no regrets about my decision to leave the classroom. My time at Georgia Tech will lead to things I haven’t even thought of yet.

However, as my email inbox awaits a response to my many queries around the city looking for a veteran classroom teacher with extensive experience in using technology to strengthen students’ literacy skills I start to think of all the possible jobs/cool things I could now pursue if a teaching job does not work out for this fall.

1. Hike the Appalachian Trail – good way to spend six months and see the North and Southeast
2. Work in an Alaskan cannery – always wanted to experience that after reading a friend’s story
3. Video editor for a reality show
4. Help produce country music videos
5. Office job – see how I handle a cubicle
6. Any job downtown where I get to rub elbows with all the suits
7. Vendor at Fenway Park
8. Children’s book editor
9. Web designer for storytellers and other creative folks