How should we be bringing technology into the classroom?

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Technology has come a long way since I was in school taking touch typing classes every two weeks. While I did hone my keyboard skills relatively fast for a 5th grader, children now have technology ingrained in them before they even enter school. Which keeps on bringing us back to the question, how should we be teaching technology in school?

Technology shouldn’t be a separate subject that needs to be taught, it should be integrated, the same way it is in everyday life. Using ShowMe to have a student work through a problem in math; Having students use Brain Scape to create flashcards to study for a History test; Collecting notes and ideas for writers workshop with Evernote; there are so many possibilities for adapting clunky traditional ways of operating the classroom.

I spoke to an educator in New Zealand recently who told me that every year, educators at a school must complete a teacher inquiry of effective pedagogy. Instead of turning this inquiry into one that looked at where students were failing and not meeting the mark, the school turned this into an appreciative inquiry that investigated questions like: What do our students love doing? What projects and subjects are they really excelling at? The school found to no surprise that students really loved using apps and devices in their learning. They enjoyed making videos to explain their learning and websites to broadcast their work to the world. This small school in New Zealand did something awesome, they listened and learned from their students. They haven’t changed the content of their curriculum but rather adapted it for a new generation.

This all said, technology isn’t the future of education. It’s just going to make lives easier and allow us to take our learning everywhere. It will aid us immensely because to students of a certain age (myself included) technology is magical and exciting, also it generates inquiry which is wonderful. Like at the school in New Zealand, if students are more engaged in learning when they are having fun, I say we should let them have it.

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