You never know how someone will react when you suggest that they junk their title and replace it with a new one that leads to a different focus of work—not to mention the confusion this could cause across the faculty, or the possible political...
Ivon Prefontaine's insight:
"Even if all teachers learned how to use all of the available tools—a nearly impossible and hugely time-consuming task—this might not lead to improved learning. I have watched students in laptop schools sitting in rows, taking notes on their machines from a teacher who is giving a decade-old lecture on an interactive whiteboard."
We have not and do not seem destined to change the school and instructional model we inherited from the 19th Century. One grand tech leader sits in a classroom with the lights off, a worksheet on the LCD projector, and plays on his laptop.
It sounds like a wide open approach to technology. We need to help students in their choices, developing skills that protect them, and understand being connnected 24/7 is not always healthy. Technology is a tool. Use it mindfully and develop mindful practice around its uses.
There are some excellent ideas and the best part is they bridge digital and face-to-face environments or even bring them together. What if your jurisdiction is all about technology but you cannot access Facebook?
Greg Kulowiec's keynote address at the iPad Summit borrows an evocative analogy from Seymour Papert on the challenges of technology in schools.
Ivon Prefontaine's insight:
"And while Papert wrote the analogy to describe the effect of bringing desktops computers into schools in the 1980s, the metaphor still resonates deeply with us today. Our hardware is orders of magnitudes more powerful than what Papert could access, and yet these gains in power all too often simply lead to a greater degree of throttling rather than translating into more impactful learning. Greg, again, offers a helpful illustration of strapping iPads on top of existing school systems."
This quote summarizes what I believe is the greatest challenge to the use of any form of new technology. What, if any impact, does it have on teaching and learning, if we only 'strap it on' to a aged, crumbling system?
I woke up this morning asking, "What difference am I making?" I don't think I make the difference I used to with students. It is not a lack of effort; it is a failed system.
I don't know what they are good for either? But, I do not know what they are not good for either? Frequently, we throw the baby out with the bath water when it comes to innovative practices. The question might be better framed this way: "What can I learn about MOOC's? What might work and be contextually appropriate for my setting?"
I see the same thing I have seen since becoming a teacher: some students write well and others do not. The platform might assist some and, at the same time, limit others. Blogging is a platform and needs to be used mindfully.
In this prickly NYT op-ed, Pamela Paul bemoans the rise of game-based learning, pointing the finger directly at education technologists who "believe computer games (the classroom euphemism for video games) should be part of classroom lessons at...
Computers cannot replace teachers despite the mythology that is promoted in some quarters including the video embedded by Joe. We need technology. We need a mindful approach to choosing what we use, when we use, and why we use it. We lack this practice and it is largely because we have educators who are unquestioning in their way of changing their practice.
A reason kids are not ready is due to the hyper-connectivity, the busyness of their lives, and little to just be alive. We need to rethink the role and use of digital technologies in our schools, classrooms, and in human lives. Can we develop mindful practices around technology?
A data democracy built to last needs tools that empower everyone to work with data rather than relying on apps and data scientists. Tableau helped ignite the data revolution, and its IPO could help it keep going.