I went to visit a teacher recently and she already had a project which was very defined. She wanted me to help her “add technology” to it. I certainly could suggest several technologies. However, none of the technologies were not going to benefit the project because the project was defined so narrowly. None of the wonderful advantages of technology such as collaboration, global dimension, archiving over time, etc. would be used in this project. At best, it would help students make their work be neater in this “canned” project.
I visited another teacher who said that he knew how to do PowerPoint so he wanted to created a project using it. He had learned how to create bullets and build in transitions. He wanted his students’ PowerPoint to follow his format. This time I was asked to fit the learning into a specific “canned” technology format without thinking of the purpose of student learning.
A much better approach is to examine the standard for which component a teacher wants to use, decide on an assessment, and then select an appropriate technology resource to help students demonstrate that standard to the high level expressed in the assessment. A standards-based lesson pre-determines the end purpose while opening up many possible ways of helping the students to get there.
Which approach do you use to incorporating technology into students’ learning?
© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007