Thanks to Monte Tatom, I am able to share the Twitcast of my presentation to the Administrators PLN at the 2015 ISTE Conference, Beyond TPACK and SAMR: Introducing trudacot to teachers. The video is less than 6 minutes. Happy viewing!
Four big questions to ask about a lesson, unit, or activity…
- Deeper learning. Did it allow students to go beyond factual recall and procedural regurgitation and be creative, collaborative, critical thinkers and problem-solvers? Did it really? [If not, why not? Our graduates need to be deeper learners and doers so that they can add value beyond what search engines, Siri, and YouTube already can do.]
- Student agency. Did it allow students to drive their own learning rather than being heavily teacher-directed? Did it really? [If not, why not? Our graduates need to be autonomous, self-directed, lifelong learners so that they can reskill and adapt in a rapidly-changing world.]
- Authentic work. Did it allow students to be engaged with and/or make a contribution to the world outside the school walls? Did it really? [If not, why not? Our graduates need to be locally- and globally-active so that they can be positive citizens and contributors to both their community and the larger world.]
- Digital tools. Did it allow students to use digital learning tools to enhance their learning beyond traditional analog affordances? Did it really? [If not, why not? Our graduates need to be digitally fluent so that they can effectively navigate our technology-suffused information, economic, and learning landscapes.]
What percentage of the learning occurring in your school system would simultaneously satisfy at least two of the above (2Q)? At least three of the above (3Q) for a triple win? All four (4Q) for the quadruple win?
If you have a 3Q or 4Q lesson, unit, or activity that you think is worth sharing, let us know below. We’d love to hear about it!
Adam Copeland said:
It is time for instructors to move from simple questions like, “Do you use technology in the classroom?” to the more complex, “For what purpose, and with what learning theories, should I engage digitally-enhanced pedagogies?” I have suggested a way forward that I have found useful, an initial attempt explicitly to address why, and for what reasons, I have proceeded with digital practices in the classroom. These four pillars – forming collaborative relationships with peers, preparing for citizenship, encountering difference and disagreement, and welcoming complexity – represent four possible emphases, and surely there are others. A teacher may wish to emphasize a particular pillar more than others. You and I can, together, develop practices that match with our courses, our pedagogical gifts, and our particular subject matter. Ultimately, I invite us to move away from easy answers, whether for or against technology in the classroom. The nature of these challenges still defies simple conversations around the departmental coffee pot, so let us, with digital wisdom, welcome the questions.
Our teacher discussion protocol, trudacot, can help with this!
Not including the more informal networking events, there generally are 3 kinds of ISTE sessions:
- Tools, tools, tools! These sessions focus on software, apps, extensions, productivity and efficiency, how-to tips, etc. Little emphasis on learning, heavy emphasis on how to use the tools.
- Technology for school replication. These sessions focus on the use of digital technologies to replicate and perpetuate schools’ historical emphases on factual recall and procedural regurgitation, control and compliance, students as passive learners, etc. Behavior modification apps, teacher content transmission tools, flashcard and multiple choice software, student usage monitoring programs, and the like.
- Technology for school transformation. These sessions focus on deeper learning, greater student agency, and perhaps real-world, authentic work. Learning technologies tend to be divergent rather than convergent, foster cognitive complexity, and facilitate active, creative student-driven learning.
We need more of #3. Lots more. Right now these sessions are still a significant minority of sessions at ISTE (and most other educational technology conferences).
Which kinds of sessions did you attend? What does that mean for your ability to effectuate change back home?
Which kinds of sessions did you facilitate? What does that mean for your responsibility as a presenter to help others effectuate change back home?
We’re wasting opportunities to move our systems…
Five thoughts from the first couple of days here at the 2015 ISTE Conference…
- If “it’s not about the technology, it’s about the learning,” then why are we centering so many of our sessions on the tools?
- Are there uses of technology with students that would offend the majority of us so much that we would stand up and shout, ‘No! We should never do that!’? I see things here and there that concern me but many others seem to be pretty blasé about them or simply accept them as inevitable parts of the landscape (for example, behavior modification software, draconian Internet filtering of children and educators, and drill-and-kill systems ‘for those low-achieving kids,’ just to name a few)
- The work of transforming school systems is difficult work. School transformation stems from personal transformation, not from devices or apps or software. How many of us can say that we’re truly transforming more than a small handful of other educators?
- The work of transforming school systems is slow work. Some of us have been at this for a decade or two (or longer). How do we invest in and energize both ourselves and each other so that the frustrations, sluggishness, and setbacks don’t win?
- We should have more babies at ISTE. Who doesn’t love babies?!
Katrina Schwartz said
Many students at [Los Angeles Unified School District’s Roosevelt High School] felt the news media had mischaracterized their school and its students as criminals for figuring out how to get around the iPad’s security features, often to access educational information.
“We were really caught up in how they kept calling Roosevelt ‘hackers,’” said Daniela Carrasco, a former student.
[Mariela] Bravo doesn’t understand why the district would give students iPads with so many limitations. Her peers were looking up homework help on YouTube – and yes, checking Facebook, too – but that’s part of life.
“They have to trust us more,” Bravo said. “We could surprise them and they could see that we are good kids.”
Students were frustrated that the district couldn’t see that negotiating distractions on the Internet is part of life now. “We should have been trusted with those websites,” Carrasco said. “Instead of blocking them, there should have been emphasis on how to use those websites for good.”
More nuanced responses from the students than the district…
A 2nd grade teacher told me – without any seeming embarrassment – that her students knew more about their iPads than she did. I thought in my head, ‘Really? They’re 7…’
As educators, shouldn’t we be embarrassed if we’re getting outlearned by 7-year-olds? (or 15-year-olds?)
George Couros said:
Sometimes when the statement is made, “it is not about technology, it is about pedagogy”, you then hear the roars of approval, and off we go on our merry way with nothing changing for many students.
In reality sometimes it is about the technology, and the opportunities that it provides that were not there before for a student.
Murphy & Beland’s recent study is making the rounds online, particularly among those who are eager to find reasons to ban learning technologies in classrooms. The economists found that banning mobile phones helped improve student achievement on standardized test scores, with the biggest gains seen by low-achieving and at-risk students. Here are my thoughts on this…
The outcome measure is standardized test score improvement. Is that all you care about or do you have a bigger, more complex vision for student learning? For instance, creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving are difficult to assess with a standardized test. Most schools I know didn’t adopt their learning technology initiatives for the sole purpose of test score improvement. (if they did, how sad is that?)
The accepted dichotomy in this study and the media seems to be 1) doing low-level knowledge work while smartphones are banned, or 2) doing low-level knowledge work while smartphones are present (and, presumably, distracting). Neither of these two options addresses the fact that decontextualized, low-level work isn’t very interesting or engaging to many (most?) students, particularly those who already find that traditional schooling doesn’t meet their needs very well. So, faced with the opportunity to do something else, many students do. Youth today aren’t any different than when we were young and adults made snarky, woeful comments about us. They just have different opportunities and resources. How many times were you bored in high school? Lots, so admit that if you’d had access to a smartphone or your friends on Facebook back then, you would have turned that way too. I know that I sure would have. Let’s stop blaming students and/or demonizing technology as an evil succubus and address the real problem, which is disengaging learning environments. The solution to that problem is not to try and force students to pay attention to and comply with our boring lessons. That’s not teaching students ‘grit.’ That’s an indictment of our failure to differently imagine learning and teaching.
How about a third option, that of doing higher-level learning and USING the smartphones to help with that? That sounds pretty good to me. Why isn’t this ever brought up as an option to be considered?