Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Why this T-model chaffs me just a bit...

I keep seeing this posted on twitter over and over again and while I agree with it's broad concept, the business education technology teacher in me also gets a little undone by it; So much so that it wakes me up at night and causes me to fear we are going backwards! Please allow me to share..

First, I believe technology is a tool, not a learning outcome. I believe technology is what oils a lesson plan for greatness. I believe technology allows students to delve deeper, dream bigger, and research easier. I can't even begin to explain the excitement I have had about seeing what I "teach" become part of the every day curriculum. BUT...

The model above scares me just a bit. Why does mobile learning have to have a RIGHT AND WRONG approach? The truth is, at some point someone has to teach these students how to navigate and use prezi, blog responsibly, access Wordle sites, etc. That is why I find the above model scary.

Technology in the schools has come a long way baby...for years, I have taught a set curriculum that said my students needed to know how to create PowerPoints, save files, etc. All these standards have been VERY specific to meet the ISTE standards and to equip my students for the future. The sad part is that often I have "created" lesson plans that had nothing to do with authentic learning just so I could put a check mark by a standard that need to be met. 

I have been BEYOND excited that this is changing...I now work with teachers to meet my standards but the students are working on projects that mean something to them, something they are studying in class already. It has become authentic learning and is morphing into true learning of technology that just happens flawlessly. This next year I will be in the classroom while a teacher teaches content and I work the room while student pick their app/website/output of choice to show, learn, create, or "take action." 

As this shift happens, there will be less me and more or students just doing what comes naturally, BUT... we cannot forget the fact that standards for technology still exist. Curriculum in ed tech still has to be "taught." When we don't teach that tools have rules and that there are proper ways for creating we undermine the role of technology and we do not show the students the pros and cons to the power at their fingertips. 

I have felt like we, as an educational community, were heading to a place where technology would just seamlessly take place in the classroom and that less time would have to be taught "teaching" the technology...and that is a good thing! BUT...we have to also make sure the teachers take seriously their responsibility to help their students become good digital citizens AND teach them how to create WORTHY output. 

Now I will step down from my soapbox. ;)