Thursday, August 1, 2013

Why use technology in the classroom?

At this year's administrative retreat, we focused on 21st Century Teaching and Learning.  My niece, who was born at the dawn of the 21st Century, is about to start eighth grade, so it is about time this initiative got some play.  Unfortunately, 21C T&L is often viewed like this:

21C T&L = technology 

technology = low level but flashy tasks   

We have no time to waste in getting past this short-sighted view of technology integration.

For example, have your students ever proudly prepared  PowerPoints lacking in both style and substance?  This work may engage them, but may not move them forward in any meaningful way.

Technology must take students to new levels of:



Critical Thinking


The SAM-R model (read graphic from the bottom-up) is a useful way to evaluate whether technology is being used as a substitution for a low-tech task, in which case it might be inefficient, or even ineffective, to use the technology.  We strive to use technology in transformative ways, to accomplish tasks and projects that could not be dreamed of even a decade ago.  For example, who could have forseen the ability to share digital documents or connect in real time to a global audience?

How are you planning to use technology in the coming school year?  Are your students doing work that could not have been accomplished in the recent past?  Are your students creating?  Collaborating?  Communicating to each other and to an authentic audience?