Learn not be engaged in technology

I would  like to ban the words “engage”, “engagement”, “engaging” from education.   Many educational articles, company ads, and conference presentations use the this concept with titles such as “Engage your students through…”, “Highly engagement by….”, or “Engaging Students ….”.  Teachers will comment “My students were so engaged in the lesson.”  I would like much more than mere engagement, I want learning.

In a Social Studies class, students can be “engaged” in creating a PowerPoint of a country for many class periods but they  may not have  learned the critical country information.  Also, an “engaging” activity may be for students to create a video showing an understanding of a play  in their English  class. The students  can be fully attentive to the project but if they focus on sword play instead of the plot of the play, their engagement does not end up in learning.  Likewise, in Science, students can fully participate in a twitter conversation about the impact  of development on the local environment with every student tweeting.  Does each tweet add more information (depth or breadth of learning)?  Modern Language students can be “engaged” in using their Smartphones to collect pictures  for their teacher but do they talk in the target language about the pictures?

When we use essential questions, backward design, or problem based learning, students immerse themselves in learning. They improve in their learning through technology.

Do your student focus on learning?

I have  nine + Spanish spontaneous speaking activities at Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

My formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook

Advertisements

5 Responses to “Learn not be engaged in technology”


  1. 1 edtechceo February 17, 2012 at 2:02 am

    I agree with your post. So many students become so enthralled with the process of using technology, that they forget about the learning. However, I believe the same thing happens with teachers as well. They often get so caught up in the next “neat thing” that they forget the reason for using the technology. When I use technology in my classroom, I make sure that I can assess what the students learned, not just what picture they found. By looking at what new connections they are making in their knowledge, that’s where teachers can see real learning though technology taking place.

  2. 2 BASGVSU February 19, 2012 at 2:24 am

    This is a really great point. I hear other teachers talking about engagement as if that is the end instead of merely the means to an end. If students are focused on the technology, they may not be learning what we want them to learn.
    Twenty-five years ago I sold life insurance, and my agency was one of the first in the area to use laptops to present the product and calculate values for the policy proposal. Very often people were dazzled by the technology, but completely uninterested in buying what I was selling. However, I probably could have sold my laptop a number of times!
    Similarly, students should not be so “engaged” with the technology that they miss the lesson that is being presented. Tech should only support the lesson, it should never BE the lesson, right?

  3. 3 Betty C. March 4, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    This is a very thought-provoking post. I have college EFL students working on a “social-media connected writing project” right now. They are definitely engaged, but it’s not like learning is necessarily happening with a magic wand. As it turns out, I think it is more of a chance for them to practice the skills they have than acquire new ones, although certainly some vocabulary acquisition is taking place.

    I have no regrets about the project, which is taking up only 6 class hours of their 90-hour English curriculum, but I am also glad I limited it to that. THe project could easily have been drawn out much longer, “engagement” included…but with how much extra learning?

  4. 4 Jeff S. March 12, 2012 at 1:54 am

    I used to think the word “engaging” was overused…about 15 years ago during my undergraduate work. Unfortunately, the English language consists of only so many words that can be used in its place. In most instances the word is used, educators are implying that is learning is taking place, not forgetting about it. Education is full of words that are overused…”panacea” being another one, but due to linguistic limits we are forced to constantly regurgitate them.

    I firmly believe the most learning occurs when students are…oh how do I say it…ummmm…involved…no…interested…no…ahhh…engaged. See what I mean?


  1. 1 Blog Post 2 – Technology to increase learning « Teknowledgie Trackback on February 17, 2012 at 2:08 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




RSS Education with Technology

  • Tech Integration Teacher, What time is it? August 23, 2016
    When someone asks what time it is, that person wants to know the time, not the history of the clock, not how a clock works, and not what other types of clocks there are. Classroom teachers want to help their students improve their academic learning through technology. Sometimes they need help with technology so they go […]
    hgtuttle
  • Curriculum Focus, Not Technology Focus July 28, 2016
    In my public school career I have been a classroom teacher, a technology integration specialist and a technology administrator. In my technology role, I served under the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. She had a simple mission: Improve students’ academic learning. My mission was equally simple: Improve students’ academic learning through technology […]
    hgtuttle
  • Students React to Digital Badges: Pros, Cons and Interesting June 22, 2016
      ISTE 2016 By Harry Grover Tuttle, Ed. D. College World Language Students’ Preferences Digital Badges – 52%        Paper Certificates – 48% World Language: Can-Do Digital Badges Digital Badges Pro- – Breaks down proficiency more – Shows all badges at once – Is more attractive – Is more appropriate since we use […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Naming the Badge October 29, 2015
    Once teachers have selected what learning and what digital badges (individual or category badges; see previous blog), the teachers encounter another decision. What will they name each badge? Will they use the full name of the Common Core Standard or the national proficiency? For English, under “Speaking and Listening,”will they write out SL.2 “Integrate and […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Better Than Grades? October 19, 2015
    Teachers understand that the grade in a course consists of many different factors such as homework, participation , projects, tests, etc. Blodget observes that sometimes grades reflect attitude, effort, ability and behavior (http://www.academia.edu/9074119/Grading_and_Whether_or_not_Grades_Accurately_Reflect_Student_Achievement). Equally important, a letter […]
    hgtuttle
  • World Language Students Use of Mobile Devices in the Classroom October 5, 2015
    Do world language students use technology n the classroom? Do their  teachers go beyond having their students use technology simply for the drill and practice in vocabulary and grammar? Students can use laptops and mobile devices to hear authentic language, read authentic texts, read tweets about famous performers, see up-to-the-moment culture,  watch video […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Individual or Categorized Learning Badges? September 12, 2015
    The idea of digital badges sounds appealing for the digital children in classes. As teachers start thinking about digital badges, they have to figure out what badges will be awarded. The teachers can award social or academic badges. If teachers decide to use academic badges, then the teachers may base their badges on the Common […]
    hgtuttle
  • English +Common Core +Mobile = Success (ISTE2014 Poster -details) June 30, 2014
    Here are the ten examples I showed at my English + Common Core  + Mobile ISTE 2014 Poster Session: Based on CCSS Anchor Statements: L.2 Take a Conventions Mobile Online Quiz  to pick the  incorrect sentence from four choices (capitalization) SL.2  Evaluate audio recording of a  book chapter on mobile and predict for next chapter. […]
    hgtuttle
  • Global Cultural Learning Using Mobile Devices (ISTE Mobile MegaShare Presentation) June 28, 2014
    Based on my presentation at ISTE 2014 Mobile Megashare Why teach about other countries? Location: Large view to small on maps. Culture or culture. Find six similarities in a  mobile picture from another culture (“Wars are caused by differences, not similarities.”-Tuttle.) Tell one piece of information from each different Internet visual from a place in that […]
    hgtuttle
  • English + Common Core + Mobile = Success in Learning Poster Session at ISTE 2014 June 25, 2014
    In my ISTE Sunday 8-10 am poster session, I demonstrate many diverse mobile activities to help students achieve the English Language Arts Common Core Anchor Statements through mobile devices. The mobile activities focus on free common tool apps that are available on both the Android and the iPad. The students use the apps as a seamless […]
    hgtuttle

Blog Stats

  • 737,154 hits

%d bloggers like this: