Sunday, November 20, 2016

Embrace Technology to Deepen Learning

Access
Teachers and schools are no longer the gatekeeper for information.  The internet has made information much more accessible.  The teachers role changes from provider of information to the guide for the journey.  Students can now find and create content on the internet.  The abundance of information can be difficult to to traverse.  Students now can find information but struggle to analyze if it is credible.  Teachers must help students determine and analyze sources of information.

Collaboration
Students can now collaborate beyond the walls of the school building.  Teachers can set up skype sessions with classrooms around the world.  Students can collaborate using google documents or websites.  Students might read another students blog and comment on it giving the other student feedback. Teachers facilitate these activities and can assist in connecting students to other classrooms/students.

Create
Students can create content using blogs, videos, and websites. Students can share content using social media.  Students now have many opportunities to create content and teachers play an important role of pushing them to focus students and help the students create meaningful content.

Passion
Students can dig deeper into content.  As an example, students in a geography class have always learned about different places throughout the world.  Now, the student can actually go and look at the place on google earth or connect with a student who lives in the place they are studying. They can interview someone about their state, city or country.  In an English class, students might connect with an author.  Technology, on it's own, will not develop passion.  However, if given the right classroom environment that embraces going deeper and connecting with people outside of the classroom, students can dig into areas that they are passionate about.

Embrace Technology
It is important to embrace technology.  Teachers must consider their role in deepening student learning using technology.  Technology isn't the answer alone.  Teachers using technology in meaningful ways can deepen student learning.

Recommended Reading
Matt Miller's "Ditch That Textbook"

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