Sunday, February 10, 2013
Such ideological questions can not be answered with one blanket statement. Just as all adult learners are unique and motivated differently, our students are as well. We have to think less about the technology and more about the learners. Providing students access to technology tools when and if they need them is an essential part of technology integration. The lesson should NEVER be about the tool; well-developed and planned activities around expected learning outcomes and clear evidence that demonstrates learning should always be central in the classroom environment. Sometimes, our students will choose to use a tool to create a digital representation of their thought process, how their thinking has evolved, or even share discoveries encountered along the way. All of these activities have common threads: students expressing themselves, communicating, interacting socially with others.
Teachers who have not made the pedagogical shift are missing out on the joys of getting the know students as unique and thoughtful individuals. Students are not going to remember all the knowledge and learning they receive in school -- in twenty-five years. But they will remember those moments, the laughter shared, the caring and encouraging adults, the relationships with peers they've built. If an educator wants to motivate a learner, she needs to provide choices and opportunities to interact, discuss and share learning with peers.