Saturday evening after the Jewish Sabbath, I turned on my smartphone to a flurry of notifications. While the volume was a bit more than usual, it was the nature of the conversation that really caught me off guard. You see, for the past 5 years I have been heavily engaged in an online education community that might not always agree, but tends to trend on being positive, supportive, and constructive when engaging with other educators in the space. This weekend, however, was a sobering moment where I said to myself, “well, the honeymoon is over”, as I read educators publicly trashing other educators in the name of [insert noble cause here]. So what is the big deal with brand influence’s infiltration into the education world? Are brands and influencers of limits in education? Read More on Medium.com...Read More
Educated By Design Blog
Filtering by Tag: technology
We leave almost zero time for reflection in education today. Outside of a student sitting and wondering why they didn't get at least a 90% on the big test, how much time is allotted for reflection? The challenge we face is that reflection is not a “measurable” data set when you compare to data hungry areas of growth like reading and math literacy. So how can you measure reflection? While a student summary on the experience might be a good method to assess understanding, it will do little to evaluate their ability to take this failed experience and do something more significant because of it.Read More
There is a movement in education that promotes, and even glorifies failure. Graphics proclaiming that we should fail forward, fail ofen, and of course view F.A.I.L as a First Attempt In Learning. I too am I proponent of failure, and believe that is has been a key ingredient not just in my own success, but for so many successful people I look to for inspiration and guidance. Recently Tim Ferris, a famous entreprenuer and author of "The 4 hour work week", reflected on 200 episodes of his podcast.Read More
The truth is, that it isn't just the iPad. Tablet technology has revolutionized education. It has such potential to completely transform student learning, when used in a purposeful and thoughtful manner. Bonus #6 is that it's mobile and agile unlike its laptop cousins. It is in this respect that where and how we learn is only limited to our WiFi access. You can deep sea dive with an iPad. I can't imagine doing the same thing with a Chromebook or even a Macbook Pro.
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:
@TheTechRabbi It can be - S won’t significantly impact student outcomes, but can serve as a basis for higher levels, help reach other goals
— Ruben R. Puentedura (@rubenrp) January 22, 2015
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.
Technology is something powerful. The innovative and imaginative experiences that we are able to create today are unlike anything seen in history. Technology by definition gives us the ability to make and modify any object in order to solve a problem, improve an existing solution, or achieve a goal. No one questions the qualitative enhancements of the use of technology, as these results are clear and well documented. Our challenges now are in our ability to achieve these previously inconceivable outcomes in a reasonable period of time.
The iPad gives its user the ability to create powerful visual and audial experiences that push the limits of creativity through their mobile, customizable, and flexible design. Our ability to create, capture, and curate our experiences is no longer bound by a multiple device processes requiring advanced training. In the past, a film, for example, was produced through a process involving video cameras, cables, computers, and software, to achieve a final product capable of visually engaging an audience. This process is now possible through a single device with diverse components giving even the most inexperienced novice the ability to produce engaging and dynamic visual experiences.
The Invisible iPad approach enables the users to use the iPad as a tool to achieve clear learning goals and objectives, vs. focus on using the technology for its own sake. Yet, even “authentic invisibility” can encounter a serious dilemma plaguing many 1st year 1:1 programs or even worse, something that even veteran school cannot avoid, and that is time management.
We have yet to successfully travel back in time, but in the event that it does become possible, it will not be a justified solution for poor planning. Imagine a society that never learns from any of their mistakes because the bending of time will allow for a quick fix. A current trend in education today promotes an "embracing of failure". While failure is part of the learning process, it is not something we are supposed to plan for. As educators and facilitators we need to properly plan our projects. This is not a technology issue, this is a human one.
When we effectively teach our students planning and time management we give them something more than just guidance on a project, we give them a foundational skill set that if lacking will cause them to struggle in "real world" environments where late work isn't accepted and extra credit doesn't exist.
Teachers need to keep in mind the following time-related obstacles to meet planned deadlines.
- Plan for tech glitches (This cannot be stressed enough- YES! Google Drive is going to fail to upload videos the day its due)
- Students are going to loose their work, just like they lost it before the iPad. (They need to back up projects at specific benchmarks during the project)
- Students are going to come up with an awesome and creative solution to their project goal three days before the deadline, and it's going to take twice as long as the original project idea. Students need to be taught how to prioritize, plan, and also to save "good ideas" for another project.
- School events, and special programing. If you have 8 out of 14 students on the basketball team, or 2 special events that run during your period, do not plan a project due date that doesn't account for the lose of class time.
Outside of planning and management, there is one philosophical approach that we cannot waver on and this is that
In the real world, innovation is does not justify or even make up for missed deadlines.
Misuse of Time
The misuse of time is another "non-technology" challenge, and it is important to help students differentiate between the misuse of time and exploratory learning. This exploratory process is important for any type learning, to see how to excel in using a tool or process as well as to discover new ways to use them. However, this can lead to a misuse of time that will be challenging to make up and still meet project deadlines.
This is a work in progress for all parties involved. Administrators need to embrace and support the innovative and experimental approaches of their teachers. Teachers need to help facilitate 21st century skills built on planning and time management, and students need to continue blowing our minds with their amazing imaginations and significant learning experiences.