Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"The Role of Technology" PLEASE HELP!

This goes out to my PLN:

Tomorrow I have the opportunity to teach a group of HS seniors enrolled in an Introduction to Teaching class. The topic: "The role technology plays (and will play) in education." My main focus with them is that the technology must me inherent, transparent, and ubiquitous, and that LEARNING must come first, and that HOW we allow kids to learn must change.

I will also focus on the importance of collaboration.

That's where you come in.

I am looking for your responses on this topic. Feel free to expound here, back on twitter, post links, pick a specific topic and roll...whatever.

What I am looking for is quality (Which will be a no brainer with all of you!) and quantity; I want to really wow them with the volume that can be created in a working, breathing PLN.



KC said...

Calculators are great. They're no substitute for understanding whether or not a numerical answer is sensible/believable or not.

Google's the same way -- it can and does give "results" that you can't consider even a little bit credible. How do you know what's true and what's some guy spouting his own version of Einstein's relativity theories (for example)?

James O'Hagan said...

But children also need to be responsible in letting us allow them to learn in their own way. They need to be inherently critical, or we end up with the U of MD study that found that not all kids are computer whizzes, but are instead technology survivalists.


However, the positive out of the story (which is a double edged sword) is that companies like Google are trying to make finding the answer actually easier.

The question posed in the study was "what day next year will the vice presidents birthday be on?" It is a multi-step question that many students cannot figure out, according to the study.

What I am happy to report is the way my students in my class figured out the answer. All did start with Google, but then they diverged from using their Google Calendar to using a 2011 calendar, to using their calendar on their cell phone. Seven out of nine got the answer. The other two were trying to formulate the question in Google to get the answer in one shot.

So, you can make it inherent and transparent and all that... but you have to have students wanting to LEARN.

Ed Webb said...

Your students may (or may not) find it interesting to read about some of the ways I used social media and other digital tech in a recent course: http://www.educause.edu/EDUCAUSE+Quarterly/EDUCAUSEQuarterlyMagazineVolum/EngagingStudentswithEngagingTo/192954 In turn, I'd be interested to know whether the kind of thing I describe there fits their idea of how they'd like to learn in college (if they plan to go on to college).

I am a Tech Teacher said...

Technology is an important component of education because we are preparing students for jobs that don't even exist yet. Using technology in education (if it is used properly), should show students how important it is to be a problem solver and a life long learner.

Amor8 said...

Daniel Pink does a great job addressing how collaboration and creativity is imperative in a successful work force in his book A Whole New Mind. It is not enough to be able to write code or number crunch. Computers can do that much more efficiently. Computers and technology can also bring people together in ways that we couldn’t image 5 or 10 years ago. As educators, we need to give our students experience working with a wide variety of people, and prepare them to use higher level thinking skills. The technology we use in class should support these goals, just like the technology in the business world is a tool and not the end goal.

Señora Searls said...

I recently ran accross another blog post On a related topic: http://weblogg-ed.com/2010/no-choice/

The topic of it is basically that current students are the first generation of young people for which use of technology is no longer an option (particularly when it comes to academics) - might serve as an interesting way of opening up discussion?

Aditionally I think that technology is changing the face of education by providing more ways for teachers to hold students accountable for their learning; while this is largely sen as a positive aspect of technology use from the perspective of teachers, students may not be as on board with this shift in expectation on the part of their teachers (for example now that I use moodle-a course management system students can access from school & home) to post my weekly syllabus & handouts, etc...

Señora Searls said...

...there is no longer any wiggle room for the student who claims he didn't know what the homework was (even after an absence)

Of course the flip side to this is that for us as teachers it is more work up front to both plan ahead & Make documents accessible for students via electronic copies rather tthan relying soley on paper copies given out day to day.

Although workload becomes higher on both ends (for teachers in the form of advance prep / organization; for students in increased accountability, the end result is that everybody is held to a higher standard of performance & students learn more & are better prepared for their futures, which will inevitably include some form if techology!

KB said...

Technology is redefining education. Traditionally, knowledge was something you went to school to discover, something you found in textbooks, where teachers were the experts and students were the novices.

Anyone with a computer/mobile device/internet connection has access to the sorts of information that used to be taught at school.

This means that what it means to be knowledgeable had to change – it’s changing already.

Many students (indeed, probably the majority) know more about technology than their teachers. Teachers need to realize that they may not necessarily be the expert, but they still have a vital role in helping students learn to navigate their technological world.

For me, the sorts of things I want kids to know and have experience with these days are:

• How to collaborate with others effectively – working relationships are becoming increasingly important.
• How to respect and value those of different cultures and backgrounds
• how to demonstrate their creativity
• How to think about situations from different perspectives
• An understanding of a visual aesthetic (e.g. if you are creating a website, what will make it look attractive/interesting/inviting to others
• How to communicate effectively in different ways, for a variety of purposes
• How to know that any information found is accurate/reliable/effective/true
• How to be academically honest
• How to have a digital footprint they are proud of
• How to filter – information, ideas, assistance – to be of most use to them.

Just think about the way you asked for help for your presentation – you put a call out on Twitter to your PLN for assistance. What a great idea! You are able to benefit from the collective knowledge of a group of people, not just your own thoughts & ideas on the subject.

However, it is worth knowing that your PLN respect you and want to provide assistance. It’s a 2-way street!

If you were always seeking information/ideas without presenting any information/ideas yourself, then perhaps people would be less enthusiastic to share their thoughts. But as we know you regularly help out, provide useful links, and are a source of knowledge in your own right, then we don’t mind stepping up to the plate on your behalf.

Bottom line: if you want help from others, you need to be helpful yourself!

(or, a sponge doesn’t get much for long!)

I hope my 2 cents will be helpful for your presentation. I would love to hear what you decide to share with them in the end – I’m sure I could learn from it!

Keri-Lee Beasley