Blog Archive

Monday, March 16, 2009

What are you doing with your technology?


Recently I was asked if I had seen Shift Happens, a question that I hadn't heard in quite awhile, I replied that I had and I'd seen some mashups recently as well. When I first watched the video I remember feeling frustrated and wanting to see massive changes in the schools. I've watched countless reactions to the video and they usually begin with we need more technology in the classroom. But what if that isn't the point at all? I believe the shift needs to come in the form of education, application, and digital pedagogy, or digigogy. Web 2.0 tools are great and I use them every day in my classroom to "hook" the students; I always say it's a tool not the curriculum which is why sometimes it's hard to assess whether the tool or the student is creating . If we use the web to connect and extend the walls of our classroom we're beginning the process. Using the Grappling's technology spectrum to guide the lesson planning forces us as teachers to extend our own thinking and really target the learning objectives that we have. Then our students in K-6 will be Remembering, Understanding, Applying, Analyzing, Evaluating, and Creating. If we all come together and create rubrics that can guide our assessment then we will all be better teachers. (join this wiki and let's create the rubrics together!!!) @paulawhite, among others has spearheaded this idea through a conversation we all had over a period of a week on twitter.

Like this article from a year ago talks about; more laptops and SMART boards are nice and they will help accessibility assuming the school is wireless and has adequate bandwidth (otherwise that MUST be a priority), but if they are just typewriters and big projectors then we missed the point. We need to start by putting the technology we have in front of the students, then shifting our thinking, and finally helping each other through the process. We cna access their enormous potential by setting them up for success. Let them find the knowledge, then mash it up and create their own application of it. We don't need to teach them that the Civil War occurred 1861-1865, instead show them authentic documents and primary sources, let them research. discover, and create from the miles of resources available to them. Teaching them where to access, how to access, and the power of accessing information, will set them up for future success no matter where they are, they will guide and direct their learning like we do, by curiosity and the want to learn.
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