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Educated By Design Blog

Filtering by Tag: Internet

Learning Is Down! I Mean The Internet.

TheTechRabbi

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Can a classroom be considered a 21st-Century learning environment without internet access?

For many of our students, it seems impossible to imagine a life without internet. In school, if it's not accessed a 1:1 device, it is at the very least via a teacher's computer or computer lab. The more we experience the power of digital resources, the more we rely on them to support meaningful learning. The question now is how much do we rely on the internet as a tool?

What happens when the internet goes down? Does learning stop?

In the age of digital access and connection, we need to do more than simply use technology in the classroom, we need to command it. Learning cannot cease because the internet is down. It is "setbacks" like these, that reveal a serious challenge in the world of education. Is technology being relied on to teach, or are teachers using it as a method to enhance their classroom learning experiences?

When we assess the quality of technology integration, it is almost impossible to not mention the SAMR model. While many in the world of Edtech are quick to criticize the Substitution Level, I asked Dr. Puentedura his thoughts via Twitter on the topic, and he had this to say:

For many educators, SAMR is the holy grail, a model that validates us. Every educator wants to feel they "redefine" student learning, and there is something about just being a "sub" that carries a stigma.

When I look at models such as SAMR, or TPACK, I see models that are about technology and teachers, but have very little to do with students and their learning  experiences. My criticism against Substitutive technology tasks is not due to their lack of meaningfulness, instead, due to their fragility. When we use technology in a substitutive manner, then the entire learning experience relies on the stability of the tool. Take game based and web 2.0 platforms like Kahoot, Quizlet, and Socrative for example. They can be engaging, effective, fun all while supporting visual learners, give students a sense of control, and contain a competitive element to them.

The challenge with substitutive technology is that if it doesn't function as we intended, crashing, freezing, or restarting, then so does the learning.

These platforms have their time and place, and who doesn't love a game based exit ticket instead of a worksheet. Still, if this how we view technology integration, then I think we are doing a disservice to all parties involved. It is for this reason that we as educators should be challenging students to create dynamic and complex products of learning instead of simply consuming information via a digital platform.

Substitution has its place in the classroom, but it should be more than an isolated experience. Instead, it should be a stepping stone for meaningful learning to be achieved.

 

Torah & Technology

TheTechRabbi

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Feature Image courtesy of Yitzchok Moully I am a Technology embracing/utilizing/consuming/applying Rabbi, and a Chassidic one at that. A Chassidic Jew is someone who lives life above and beyond the normal limitations of Torah. This means that I strive to be more stringent in all areas of life including how I dress, what I eat, and what I do socially. I am a follower of the Lubavitcher Rebbe who is the leader of the Chabad Chassidic movement. Chassidic Judaism from its inception was a very progressive movement that was met with a great deal of opposition. It sought to uproot the Aristocratic societal structure that was dominant across Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. The movement began to spread a message of equality that all should have the opportunity to learn and that everyone is important and uniquely special regardless of their social standing or what school they learned in. Now of course this was Jewish specific, but the message is not limited as such. Today unfortunately most of the Chassidic groups have abandoned this outlook and have created very insular communities.

Being insular is OK!

There I said it. These insular communities are generally warm and friendly places that have amazing societal structures and the majority of the members of these groups live happy fruitful lives. Not everyone is meant to connect with the entire world through social media! ::GASP::

Now while I understand their views and respect them even to the point that I think they are healthy, they are not my views. Around a year ago most of these groups got together and decided to do something drastic...they decided to...

Ban the internet!

Courtesy of the Verge

While these groups sold out Met Stadium at around 80,000 seats, there was one group not invited....

Chabad

Chabad.org has been up and running since 1993.

Technology is a tool just like anything else, and the internet specifically has an amazing ability to be such a tool, as well as a weapon, and a dark, dangerous, and very harmful at that. The negative properties of any tool must be weighed, and every individual needs proper training to use the tool properly.

If we were to ban the Printing Press

because of what could be printed then where would we be today as a society? We are not limited by the potential destruction of something, or by any probability that it can occur,

because we are in charge of our own destiny.

There is no contradiction between Torah and Technology as both enhance and compliment the other.

Finally, the best part?

Shabbos

25 golden hours without my face slumped over an ipad, iphone, macbook, desktop, app, or any electrically charged object for that matter.