It is not about the technology. It is about what we do with it.

Best-Books

This year I have been greatly inspired from a Teacher-Librarian at another school, who has been an expert at garnering support for reading amazing Canadian Literature!  More specifically – The Forest of Reading from the Ontario Library Association. 

What I love most about what she does, is that she has built a strong global sense of community around literacy and amazing Canadian literature ….. and for pleasure … not for standardized teaching and testing purposes.

This is the kind of situation that I have only dreamed about ..

a situation where every teacher and student in the school know all about the books, have heard and read at least some of the books, and can discuss the books anytime, anywhere, and with anyone.

She works directly with the classrooms as well, and as a result, individual conferencing is able to take place – which is proving to be much for valuable than studying levelled books and passages. The halls are adorned with chart paper and the names of the books of the Forest of Reading program in them – a place for students to write comments and questions about the books, and a goal setting bulletin board.

SAMR redefinition already happening, just without the technology.

This is community building at its finest, and it is all happening around the books from the Forest of Reading.

I am so inspired by what is going on. To me, this is what ‘it‘ is all about.

Now, I love using educational technology – but for realistic and beneficial purposes. I am very pragmatic, yet optimistic about edtech can, and cannot do – a firm believer that it is not about the technology, but what we do with it. It is paramount to me to promote community building surrounding the merging of traditional and digital literacies. I figure that if educators can build the metaphorical online structures, then the students will have that place to go.

There are not many ‘places’ on the internet for students to go that are purposefully created for them in this way.

I wanted to springboard on these amazing ideas already happening in this school, and provide a ‘technological framework’ to connect and grow a community of readers connecting online. I set up twitter account, blog, facebook, tagboard, and storify technologies. It has garnered a lot of interest, and I hope that the seeds have been planted to grow even more next year.

However, this was not without its barriers. This idea was met with various kinds of comments including .. ‘well other schools already have blogs up and running surrounding the Forest of Reading, you know‘ -or – ‘you know that other schools are doing really great and innovative things with technology‘…Look, I ‘get’ that it may not ‘seem’ innovative, nor all that technological at first glance. But the opportunities truly are endless.. from blogs, Book Trailers, QR codes, twitter and google hangouts — we take it beyond the technology itself – to meaningful longterm community learning and literacy.  There are amazing educators out there who are already redefining learning, and I just think that we can grow those learning communities when we use tech.  We are looking at digital literacy becoming a natural extension of traditional literacy – not an add-on, or a different entity all together. Just think of the possibilities if we are able to redefine ordinary classroom literacy lessons.

Currently, we have students connecting with authors, illustrators and publishers; we have students connecting in meaningful ways with teachers, and other students they have never met. We have students creating their own book trailers without even being asked! We have students reading and discussing the books over twitter – students who have never before read for pleasure. We have learners engaging meaningfully in literacy because the twitter format works so much better for them than anything else ever has. The bottom line is, because they love the ‘framework’ that has been built, and they love the sense of community and connection that can happen outside the four walls of the traditional classroom.

No, this is NOT about the technology, or technologies used. To me, this is about using technology to build the ‘frameworks’ that the students, teachers, community members can engage with. The structures to connect people across time and space to share knowledge and ideas about the books. To give students a framework that they can engage with outside of school hours if they want – a safe place to engage in a love of literature. Which, I believe is the essence of improving literacy scores – if that is what our ultimate goal is.

Far better than standardization in my humble opinion.

I do not have all the answers, just the passion and drive to use technology in ways that makes it about the love of learning, and community building. Next we will be having students using Google Hangouts with students in another school to teach them how to engage with book trailers and other cool edtech — all about their favourite Forest of Reading books – and just in time for the big vote!

I do hope that you will join us in our ‘LiteracyCommons’: sites.google.com/site/digitalpublishing ; twitter @SCDSBForest and @forestofreading and @SCDSBbookclubs (after the official Forest of Reading vote until next fall:)

I really hope you will join us in creating an online community of readers! We want to connect with you over the years to come:)

Deborah McCallum

© Deborah McCallum and Big Ideas in Education, 2012-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Deborah McCallum and Big Ideas in Education with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Information-Processing in the Digital Age: Beginning with Content Curation

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The process of finding information and creating new knowledge involves key skills that are important for all learners. In the 21st century, the amount of information that our students must process has grown exponentially, and will continue to grow. This is one area where we need to build capacity with our educators.

In the 21st century there are still many educators, and and schools overall, that are in need of information-processing tech skills. This does not mean that they have lesser pedagogies or practices. However, There are real consequences when teachers who are not comfortable with tech, simply abandon good pedagogy and good tried and true practices, to integrate technology. Further, there are educators who do not appreciate the way that PD is mandated, and the strategies with which they have traditionally been presented.

But. We have a growing issue here. At the forefront of our imaginations, we need to figure out how we are going to effectively teach students to navigate information in new ways, and create new knowledges in a hyperlinked world.

It’s not just about teaching the curriculum all by itself anymore, because that curriculum can now be linked out both locally, and globally.

Curriculum expectations do not exist within specific subject areas, yet are hyperlinked with information all over the world, and throughout all subject areas. More important than anything, I believe, is the ability for all learners to navigate information critically in our hyperlinked world.

I propose that schools need to come up with clear plans to help with this reality of the 21st century. A plan that includes input from all stakeholders, and a plan that reinforces the use of our Librarians, that promote the school-wide goals of teaching students all steps of the research process.

One way to begin, for schools who have traditionally avoided technology integration, could include the school wide goal of curating information for a particular subject or topic in every grade.

Beginning solely with content curation strategies, educators new to information processing with technology, can begin the journey by having learners curating valuable information for their own purposes with platforms such as a classroom Pinterest boards, or Scoop.it. There are many other platforms as well.

The opportunities that can evolve and branch out from this process can include:
new research assignments,
reflection and critical thinking opportunities,
sharing and collaboration with others,
a sense of pride for educators, and learners, and of course,
opening up opportunities to use new technologies.

It is important to try new strategies to involve everyone in meaningful ways.

What strategies have worked for you?

D.McCallum

Copyright
© Deborah McCallum and Big Ideas in Education, 2012-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Deborah McCallum and Big Ideas in Education with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Top 10 Criteria for Choosing Edtech

 

Jo Fothergill

Jo Fothergill

There are important considerations that need to be at the forefront of our decision making when it comes to choosing edtech. When we metaphorically ‘grab’ onto the technology and use it without thought as to how it affects our pedagogy, we may be putting our learners at a a disadvantage. Therefore, there are several things we need to consider including creating a balance of using technologies against ‘tried and true’ evidence based, research-based, community-based, and culturally appropriate strategies for learning. Ed-tech in and of itself does not provide easy answers.

The following is a list of my top 10 criteria for integrating edtech:

1.Classroom Ecology: Critically think about your classroom community, the needs, the best ways to promote student voice. Don’t just strive to foster the ecology, also have flexibility and openness to understanding the natural ecology and how you can harness that for success. Educators must also take a step back and think about how much time the edtech will take up in class. Overtime, will this result in the vast majority of students losing out on key instructional time? 

2. Participation vs Consumption. Consider how the students and learners are going to participate with the digital tool and the technology within each unique learning environment. Are we promoting Participation with the tool…or merely consumption? What is the difference, and what are the implications? Educators must also take a step back and think about how much time the edtech will take up in class. Overtime, will this result in the vast majority of students losing out on key instructional time? 

3. Pedagogy. What are your goals? Will you suffer if you ‘step away’ from your pedagogy to ‘try out’ new edtech? If so, it is time to consider what PD you might be interested in. How can teachers be supported in ways that promote learning about the ‘art and science’ of integrating the digital tools into professional pack practice. This is <a href=”http://bigideasinedu.edublogs.org/2013/08/22/technology-should-not-offset-good-pedagogy/”>pedagogy</a&gt;. Educators must also take a step back and think about how much time the edtech will take up in class. Overtime, will this result in the vast majority of students losing out on key instructional time?

4. Leadership. Make messages crystal-clear with regards to the ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘how’, and ‘when’ of implementing new platforms. It is important to avoid sending mixed messages to all stakeholders involved in education. Educators must also take a step back and think about how much time the edtech will take up in class. Overtime, will this result in the vast majority of students losing out on key instructional time? 

5. Balancing enthusiasm with research and knowledge. Having a real understanding about what text tools can actually do and what they cannot actually do is important. Avoid holding any delusions were glorified ideas about how they’re helping our students. Educators must also take a step back and think about how much time the edtech will take up in class. Overtime, will this result in the vast majority of students losing out on key instructional time? 

6. Minimize distraction. One that cannot be ignored is that many technology tools are linked with other tools social media tools another digital learning tools. How can we minimize distraction for students, when we cannot monitor them all the time, to help them get the most of their learning experiences? Educators must also take a step back and think about how much time the edtech will take up in class. Overtime, will this result in the vast majority of students losing out on key instructional time? 

7. Adaptive Technology.. Adapting technology tools to warrant appropriate learning needs and appropriate learning goals. Educators must also take a step back and think about how much time the edtech will take up in class. Overtime, will this result in the vast majority of students losing out on key instructional time? 

8. Promoting Collaboration. In what ways can we use the technology to learn together, to collaborate, to share, and to build new knowledges. How can we tailor each situation to our own specific needs? Educators must also take a step back and think about how much time the edtech will take up in class. Overtime, will this result in the vast majority of students losing out on key instructional time? 

9. Ethics. How do we carefully consider the ethics involved? Part of being ethical, is working within our boundaries of competence to be able to provide the best learning outcomes for our students. Further, It is important to Carefully outline the needs of all stakeholders, the ethical considerations that need to be understood. Psychologists have to take graduate-level courses in ethics and decision-making, how are educators trained to make important ethical decisions in education, let alone decisions that involve the ever evolving dimensions of Ed-tech? Further, What are educators responsibilities to learners? Should we be developing content and software and hardware unique to our local school boards and businesses? For instance based on present and future privacy and data mining concerns etc., should we consider local platforms or local clouds that will promise to always keep student information safe? Educators must also take a step back and think about how much time the edtech will take up in class. Overtime, will this result in the vast majority of students losing out on key instructional time? 

10. Equity and Accessibility. How are we ensuring that technology is being used to promote equity and accessibility to information and knowledge? Equity is also about ensuring that our most disenfranchised students are not missing out on key opportunities to learn basic methods from tried and true pedagogies, in exchange for more time spent navigating edtech. Educators must also take a step back and think about how much time the edtech will take up in class. Overtime, will this result in the vast majority of students losing out on key instructional time? 

Ed-tech provides many wonderful opportunities for educators and learners. But we do need to be mindful of these important considerations for the greater good of all students. I really think that educators must also take a step back and think about how much time the edtech will take up in class. Overtime, will this result in the vast majority of students losing out on key instructional time? What will this look like for an entire school? Community? City? Province? Country? Will too much enthusiasm spent with edtech result in more students not having the basic skills that we already know are important? At what cost are we promoting edtech? Let’s face it, the research is thin. I certainly promote edtech and use it, but I also believe in not losing what we have already gained!

What criteria do you use to find your edtech tools?

D.McCallum

© Deborah McCallum and Big Ideas in Education, 2012-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Deborah McCallum and Big Ideas in Education with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Reflections on Mindsets & the Psychology of Success

 

Image courtesy of  ddpavumba/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of ddpavumba/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Teachers expectations of students abilities in the classroom play significant roles in learner success. Likewise, learner mindsets have strong impacts in education.

The best way to realize the potential within ourselves and the potential within others, especially our learners is, to set and identify reasonable goals – not as ultimate boundaries to where you can go – but as markers of success like success criteria and learning goals; for instance to help others via sharing and collaborating.

For decades, educators have worked hard to cultivate student success within learning environments. One of the ways that this has been accomplished is with open and flexible mindsets.

There is a real call for promoting the kinds of mindsets that will help everyone to confront the new challenges that schools are facing in the 21st century. Among these challenges include staying abreast of advances in advertising, social media, and other internet-based technologies that warrant effective instruction of mathematics and the application of critical thinking skills to protect the mindsets of our youth.

Many advertisers businesses know how to tap into our mindsets and make us believe that we will be better if we only believe something different or have their product. One of the goals of education is to protect learners against indoctrination. I believe that this fight against indoctrination will be one of the biggest plights of the 21st century and education.

Much like the business sector, the education sector essentially uses a variety of programs and strategies to add significant value to the lives of all learners.  Also,comprehensive frameworks that reinforce the ability to Aquire, Manipulate, Process and Share information effectively, is also of paramount importance.

In the learning environment the only true norm is a mindset that promotes continual growth and embraces change. We as educators provide the frameworks, yet cede control to empower learners and compel them to fulfill their potential.

The psychology behind open and flexible mindsets is also about identifying where teacher understanding meets the unique ranges of experiences brought forth by the students, and then striving to blend the various talents within the classroom. In short, it is the combined skills of the educators in conjunction with the skills and strengths of the learners that create new growth potential.

The development of a comprehensive framework that fits with your personal pedagogy, however requires critical thought. It is not effective to merely believe in the power of ‘positive’ thinking about our students.

It is about recognizing strengths and weaknesses, backgrounds, and histories, and deconstructing colonial practices built into our curriculum and teaching methods that inadvertently continue to privilege the dominant populations in society.

Learners need to have the freedom to ‘want’ and strive for the things that are right for them.

Mindset psychology is indeed very important behind promoting the success of our learners.

 

D. McCallum

© Deborah McCallum and Big Ideas in Education, 2012-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Deborah McCallum and Big Ideas in Education with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

It is not about Technology. It is about Pedagogy.

 

In this era of rapid evolution of informational technology, new pedagogies are necessary to meet the demands of our connected world. This includes providing equal access and opportunity for students to partake, share and build knowledge in virtual spaces.

Educators are creatorsfacilitators, curators and collaborators of knowledge in the 21st century, and technology plays a big role in these functions. However, education is not about the technology, it is about the pedagogy. Unless we re-imagine our current school and education structures, technology-infusion will not be meaningful for our learners. If we want tech integration, we must change the way we do things. Tech does not integrate well into our factory model of schools.

21st century pedagogy should evolve as we re-imagine our schemata of how schooling should be structured. This includes how we participate in sharing, exploring, and collaborating of new knowledge networks, and of course, to meet new trends in globalization fuelled by technology.

The integration new technology into pedagogy is a skill that requires knowledge, and understanding. There is a lack  of readily available research and discussion throughout our ‘Professional Learning Networks’ that touches on technology integration and the implications on Pedagogy.

This is also not an area where we can berate other educators about. Not all educators are tech-savvy. However, as educational leaders, our educators need support and facilitation to explore how technology can be incorporated into pedagogy.

Technology integration alone does not equal higher test scores and more effective learners. In fact, there are large percentages of students who are easily distracted by technology, and simply do not have the working memory to be able to process the multiple tasks co-existing at once, ie., pictures and text at the same time. This point presents very real implications to our students when we integrate the newest technologies. As educators, we do need research, training, and better practices to best educate our learners.

It is our pedagogy that needs to evolve to support technology and new ways of globally sharing, knowing and building knowledge. 

In fact, technology in itself is not new. Technology has always existed. Modern technology has been around as long as people have existed, and doesn’t just refer to the 21st century.

Also, absolutely no one can deny that the newest inventions tend to engender or require the development of certain skills or attitudes. But is there anything really new? What is new is our ability to access knowledge, collaborate, and share on a global scale. We no longer need the ‘teacher’ as the ‘sage on the stage’. We have opportunities to break out of the previously built structures that bind us to when, why, what, and how we should all learn. We have opportunities to re-imagine what learning can look like, feel like, and how it can impact ourselves and others.

What opportunities lie ahead if we can embrace this kind of change! 

But it is not about the ‘technology’. It will always take good educators to help learners find their own paths to learning that is important to them:

Good teachers know that abandoning good teaching practice, & allowing yourself to be distracted by technology results in poor teaching.

Good teachers also know that they do not have all the answers, and that we can use new technologies to ignite passion for learning that is personally meaningful.

It has been suggested by educators with PhD’s discussing the notions that some of our lower levels of literacy across the Western world come from educators having abandoned certain practices that promote deep learning, to experiment with new technologies. Let’s not forget that tech-integration takes a lot of time, resources, and practice.

Still, others have argued that the spell check and word processors of our modern day technology has resulted in generations of students with increased difficulties in spelling, reading, and writing, and critical thinking. If there is actually truth to any of these arguments, we as educators have much to contemplate when it comes to integrating technology.

So how do we maintain high standards of excellence, while shifting pedagogy to incorporate technology meaningfully?

Perhaps before we jump into integrating the newest technologies, and the newest ‘flavour of the month’ perhaps, we also remind ourselves of the ‘truths’ that make us good educators, and the research based art and science behind our teaching practice, and make sure that whatever tools we use in the classrooms, we do NOT abandon good pedagogy to simply use a new technology in our classrooms.

This takes training, facilitation, and new professional development strategies for teachers to be able to shift previous schemas of how learning should unravel.

Further, human challenges will always remain human challenges, will always remain human challenges.  Regardless of the date and time in history humans will always have the same basic needs including needs for love, acceptance and to learn new information. New technologies do not automatically offset universals in the areas of human behaviour. We do need research and training to understand the implications of  technology usage in the classroom on the nature of human beings and learning.

New technologies should not offset good pedagogy. Rather, pedagogy should evolve to incorporate meaningful ways of learning, collaborating and sharing in the 21st century.

 

Deborah McCalllum

© Deborah McCallum and Big Ideas in Education, 2012-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Deborah McCallum and Big Ideas in Education with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Unlearning the Labels we use in Education

 

Larger labels in edThis past week I was fortunate to have the opportunity to engage in Facilitator Training with some wonderful leaders in our Board. It was energizing, supportive, informative and prompted a lot of great reflection and discussions.

How do Labels affect the Learning Process?

One of the key ideas that resonated with me was how labels affect what we think we know about someone, and the learning process.  It is amazing how our practice is often entrenched in the labels we use. Labels can be limiting, and have consequences for all key players in education. For instance, the word ‘student’ is a label that is embedded in traditional understandings of what it means to be a student. Traditional understandings of labels need to be actively challenged in the 21st century.

Effective collaboration promotes deep and meaningful change. Opportunities for effective collaboration evolves out of a respect that we are all learners and facilitators in a 21st Century learning environment.  We can facilitate more meaningful collaboration in our education systems by manipulating our use of labels, and exchange the word student, with ‘learner‘, and exchange the word teacher with ‘facilitator’. This tactic gives us permission to think outside of our ingrained schemata of what it means to teach and learn.  Often, our schemata includes visions of the teacher as a ‘sage on the stage‘, and the student as a passive receiver of information and knowledge. To solely use the labels ‘student’, and ‘teacher’ implies that the players in our education must always carry out the same roles to succeed.

However, in the 21st Century, we realise that students are also teachers and facilitators, and we understand that teachers are also learners and facilitators in the classroom environment. Further, we realise that the ‘learner’ and ‘facilitator’ are interchangeable terms, and depict roles that we must switch in and out when we are engaged in meaningful collaboration.

 

Unlearning our Traditional Views

At one point in our Facilitator session, we each had cards that were adapted from the School of Unlearning www.schoolofunlearning.com.

The card that I received had a number of questions that served as  guiding posts for me to engage in group work in different ways. Some of the questions included:

•    How do you check your ego?

•    Could the experts/research be right?

•    Is there an alternative way?

•    Can you embrace change?

•    What can others teach you?

These questions were a great reminder about how entrenched we as humans become in our existing schemata, knowledge and understanding. But in the 21st Century we need to unlearn our traditional views and embrace 21st Century schemata that acknowledges that knowledge and understanding is a fluid process that is always changing.

 A great anchor to these questions was a quote by Stephen Katz:

….Human beings are predisposed to preserve existing understandings of the world and they attempt to make new things familiar by transforming them into something that is consistent with what they already know (Stephen Katz 2010, p.19).

 

It is a natural human reaction to experience internal resistance when something we feel strongly about is challenged. But this does not have to be a ‘bad thing’ for several reasons:

First of all, this quote serve as a great reminder to take the time to look at alternative research and points of view.

Second, this quote also gives use permission that when we feel our internal resistance to new knowledge and new ways of thinking, that we are allowed to take time to pause and reflect. We are allowed to be lacking in answers and take time to check out new research consider other views, even if we don’t agree.

Third, even though the research may be different than current schools of thought, there are always alternative ways of looking at the data. We cannot make assumptions about what others are thinking and what they believe in.

Finally, this can be messy, but hopefully respectful process that can lead to shared understandings and educational success.

It is time to actively challenge the labels and roles that we are expected to play in education. We must access the research, and consider new forms of knowledge whether we agree or not. Further, it is time to take the time, to actively check in with ourselves and engage in reflection.

The following are questions that we can ask ourselves when we feel internal resistance to new information:

Do I agree with this?

What does the research say?

Can I assume that the research could be right?

What are the implications of this?

 

I am reminded of yet another great quote that was shared at our workshop:

 

Comfort the distressed. Distress the comfortable (author unknown)

 

Facilitating effective collaboration depends on the ability to comfort those who are too distressed, and distress those who are too comfortable in their practices, and can create an optimal equilibrium for promoting change.

Success in learning depends on developing this optimal equilibrium. Effective facilitators can harness this knowledge of ‘student voice’ to bring about effective changes in developmentally and culturally appropriate time frames.

New ways of thinking in the 21st Century are based in flexibility and fluidity. There will always be new knowledge and new ways of thinking that are inevitably as diverse as the learners we encounter. We no longer have to play traditional roles in order to experience success. Effective facilitation is about embracing change and promoting deep and meaningful collaboration with all learners.

The 21st Century is about Paradigm shifts, new blended models, inquiry processes, collaboration, globalization with technology, and changing classroom ecology. Facilitation skills are very important in all areas of education, and I am looking forward to this new journey.

 

Deborah McCallum

© Deborah McCallum and Big Ideas in Education, 2012-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Deborah McCallum and Big Ideas in Education with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Facilitating a Digital Publishing Program in my new Education Commons Role

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Last year started out as an exciting year, where I had the opportunity to launch a Student Publishing Program in our Library.

Inspired by the SAMR and Technology Integration Matrix, and the TPACK models, I decided to design a Digital Publishing Program.

As I continue with this initiative in this new school year, I hope to inspire and motivate students to Publish the wonderful work that they are already doing in their classrooms. It will provide many new opportunities for, but not limited to, collaboration, differentiation, sharing, creating, and consolidation of learning. Work stations will be set up with iPads, netbooks, laptops, and other devices that students may have.

This program will also be linked with the Forest of Reading initiative through the OLA.  I will also be presenting this model at the BIT 2014 Conference in Niagara Falls in November. Don’t lose the forest for the trees!

This program will meet criteria from:

  • Board Improvement Plans
  • School Improvement Plans
  • School Effectiveness Frameworks
  • Essential Practices
  • Digital Citizenship & BYOD policies and Procedures
  • Curriculum Expectations
  • Community, Culture & Caring
  • FNMI knowledge and FNMI-friendly strategies can be infused

Students can come down to Publish their work!

This certainly is not an exhaustive list, but these are some of the suggestions of what students will be able to do:

    • Publish short Stories on iBooks
    • Blog your reflections instead of journal writing OR re-blog your journal writing
    • Create a ‘Fakebook’ page for a character in a book you are reading
    • Publish poetry into an eBook
    • Classroom Newsletters & website updating
    • When a class finishes for example, art work, send a student down with all of the pieces, and we can take pictures of them all and put them into a dynamic presentation
    • Explain Everything’ where students can explain what they are doing in math to teach another group of kids, or show to their parents.
    • Publish work anonymously to your website/blog
    • Take pictures of your work in class at various stages, then come back later with those pictures to put them into a slideshow presentation that demonstrates a continuum of learning
    • Record your findings of an experiment
    • Create oral or written ‘Book Reviews’ to share with others
    • Drama Presentations turned into iMovies and even use of Greenscreen
    • Create infographics, or other visual representations of data from your findings in math
    • Record music you have made
    • Discover new ways to demonstrate your knowledge from your readings to replace traditional  Book Reports

The benefits of Student Publishing can include:

  • Safe ways to publish student work
  • Motivation for students to get their work done knowing that they can work on it using technology
  • Feelings of Pride and accomplishment for seeing a Published piece of work
  • Something to share with parents
  • Opportunities for students to teach other students
  • Knowledge consolidation
  • Creativity and Imagination
  • Differentiation
  • Collaboration and support from other people in the school
  • Gives student work new purposes
  • Ideas can be shared and transferred into different classrooms with students teaching other students about new tools they learn about
  • Inspiring others to do new things with their work
  • Inspiring new types of learning
  • Feedback that Teachers can use for summative assessment and evaluation:
  • Assessment OF learning
  • Reinforces the learning process
  • Ability to share work ‘anonymously’ with other classrooms and students. Peer feedback from others.
  • Meeting different needs of students to provide motivation or enrichment to some, but not mandatory for those students who may be overwhelmed or be experiencing processing difficulties with the myriad of visuals and text, for example.

Please feel free to share some of your ideas based on what you have done or would love to do in your own classroom or Library! 

Deborah McCallum

© Deborah McCallum and Big Ideas in Education, 2012-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Deborah McCallum and Big Ideas in Education with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

New Pedagogies needed for Edtech Integration

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Technology has always existed, and there is nothing really new to teach our students.

If we can consider this argument for a moment, and consider the implications of what it means for Education.

If technology has always existed and evolved, then learning has also had to evolve across time and space. The newest and rapidly evolving technologies in 2014 are no exception! Now more than ever, our education systems need to change across time and space to use technology effectively to teach our students.

Great educators know that integrating new edtech into pedagogy is a skill that requires knowledge, practice and understanding. Sound familiar? This is based on the same principles we use to teach the curriculum.  However, in our 21st century, there simply is not a lot of readily available research and discussion with PLN’s that are explicit when it comes to technology integration and the implications on Pedagogy. The old pedagogies do not fit anymore, however. We do need more opportunities to share and engage in meaningful Professional Development to create these opportunities.

Technology integration alone does not equal higher test scores and more effective learners. In fact, as just one example, there are many students who are easily distracted by technology, and simply do not have the working memory to be able to process the pictures and text at the same time. There are very real implications to our students when we integrate the newest Technologies. As Educators, we do need to know what we are doing.

Technology is not new!

Technology in itself is not new. Technology has always existed. Modern technology has been around as long as people have existed, and doesn’t just refer to the 21st century. Absolutely no one can deny that the newest inventions tend to engender or require the development of certain skills or attitudes. Today this requires a great deal of change. But is there anything really new? Human nature and the learning strategies do not melt away and erode simply because some of us have computers, tablets, internet, and Wifi.

Good teachers know that abandoning good teaching practice, & allowing yourself to be distracted by technology results in poor teaching.

Educational research has pointed toward some of our lower levels of literacy across the Western world stemming from educators having temporarily abandoned certain practices that will continue to stand the test of time, for new technologies. Others have argued that the spell check and word processors of our modern day technology, has resulted in generations of students with increased difficulties in spelling, reading, and writing, and critical thinking. If there is actually truth to any of these arguments, we as Educators have much to contemplate when it comes to integrating Technology.

In order to successfully integrate technology, we need new pedagogies. Our 20th century pedagogies do not lend themselves to technology integration in our learning environments!

Perhaps before we jump into integrating the newest technologies, and the newest ‘flavour of the month’ perhaps, we also remind ourselves of the ‘truths’ that make us good Educators, and the research based art and science behind our teaching practice, and make sure that whatever tools we use in the classrooms, we do NOT abandon good pedagogy to simply use a new technology in our classrooms.

Further, human challenges will always remain human challenges, will always remain human challenges.  Regardless of the date and time in history. New technologies do not automatically offset universals in the areas of human behaviour. They also should not offset opportunities to revamp pedagogy for the better.

How do you integrate Educational Technologies into your pedagogy?

 

Deborah McCalllum

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