Technology’s Role in the Evolution of Information

I am teaching another course in my district to teachers in grades k-12 across all content areas titled, “More Technology to Enhance Content Area Learning.”  If I could rename the class, I would title it: Gettin’ Wiki With It.  The course covers all aspects of collaborative projects and web 2.0 programs that teachers can utilize with their students for a multitude of purposes.  In my research and gathering of new information to share with teachers I came across a great quote on David Warlick‘s blog about why we teach with technology.  He wrote on his May 13th post,

“I honestly believe that educators are seeking new ways to use new information and communication (literacy) technologies in teaching and learning for the very best reasons. But we need better answers than, “Because it’s technology. Our children will do anything if it’s with technology.” ..and “this is the engagement!” pointing at the an iPod Touch.

I continue to maintain that the little box is not what engages them. it is what happens through that box. It is the information experience that…

  • Is responsive
  • is fueled by questions
  • provokes conversation
  • is rewarded with currency
  • Inspires personal investment
  • is guided by safely made mistakes

When we talk about modernizing formation education, this is what we should talk about, not the technology.”

Many teachers in my district are aware of the various web 2.0 tools that can be utilized with students but stay away because they have preconceived notions: technology requires more work, it’s a fad, or the countless other excuses one hears on a daily basis. We do not need to bring Web 2.0 into our classroom for technology sake, but because of what it has to offer.  The evolution of teaching and the way that teachers teach over the past 200 years has evolved dramatically from the tools of the trade  – chalk boards, then over-head projectors, then whiteboards, and now smart boards and the possibility of  ipads or slates for every student.  Warlick writes that it is the experiences that students have with information that is changing and evolving the way that we teach.  I would ask you what types of experiences are your students having with the information you are teaching?  How can technology strenghten their engagement, connection, and understanding with this information?

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