Tech is not a learning goal

In class, I asked everyone to post three words they think of when they think of technology in education, and our Poll Everything poll showed us this:

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I love that “integration” is up there front and center, because tech is not something that should happen in a lab down the hall on Tuesday mornings.

I see “learning” up there, in the same font size as “necessary”.  Tech isn’t a learning goal. It’s a set of tools that can support learning in ways that weren’t possible before. We can make it easier and more efficient to collect information from students as we continue to stand in front of the room as we use tools like Poll Everything (and there are many such tools),  and we’re still teaching the whole class at once, as we always have.  I’m intrigued by what might happen when we get that data and we can break up the class, engage students in multiple ways, invite them to show us what they know in ways that show us the complexity of their thinking.  Perhaps, we’ll do more of that sort of work and less talking to students.

I’m intrigued for example about the layers of learning in 6th grade teacher Kevin’s (@dogtrax) playful experimentation with audio and video in poetry writing. I think about the ways that students would need plan, reflect, make judgments about quality in anticipation of audience, think about word choice and visual composition.  Then, maybe the whole class conversations are about critical reflection on the processes, the learning, the products, not dissemination of information that’s widely available to students now.

We are on the cusp of pretty big shifts from print to digital throughout culture.  We have long passed the point where information was something possessed by some people but not others, to information being widely and easily available to everyone.

What differences does that make in how we teach and learn?

What if education wasn’t about disseminating information?  What else about all of this is in our wordcloud?



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