How can we get past superficial technology use in our classrooms? When I envision changing what is happening in the classroom, some of the transformations I’d like to see include the following:
- Problem-Based Learning: PBL engages students not with technology, but with powerful ideas and learning possibilities that technology can accelerate. Read more about PBL. | Visit Professional Learning Site.
- Collaboration: The hallmark of today’s technology-embedded classrooms must be increased communication opportunities along with collaboration. In Three Steps to Leverage Technology for Dual Language or ELL Strategies, you can see that these uses transcend technology and enable powerful, interactive activities that can be done at a distance. Try having students create a multimedia anthology of digital stories that can be read, viewed, and listened to across the globe. Another example involves students nationwide gathering and analyzing data via cloud spreadsheets.
- Amplify Student Voices: Powerful learning occurs when we hear our own voice in the world. Affirming students’ ability to impact social justice issues in their community helps them develop their voice. Going digital on a world stage can transform lives in an instant for good or ill.
Achieving the Impossible
Technology also makes possible the difficult or impossible. One example includes creating lifelong electronic portfolios and another is augmenting learning.
- Lifelong Electronic Portfolios: As learners, most work disappears at the end of class. Creating lifelong e-Portfolios enables learners to achieve greater insight into what and how they learn. It also forces reflections on learning. Find out more: e-Portfolios | Picture Portfolios
- Empower the Previously Difficult or Impossible: Technology enables us to learn in ways previously impossible. Consider technologies like an iPad and Moticonnect, which fellow blogger Richard Byrne highlights through a guest post by Maggie Keeler and EdTechTeacher. MotiConnect augments what may have been done in the past.
Skip superficial attempts at technology-enhanced learning. Commit to blending technology for transformative learning in our classrooms.