Monday, May 30, 2011

It's not the tools, But yes it is the tools, Part 4

Why do we need technology in the classroom? Why learn these new tools?

"computers are not mere tools but are media with which to think. They can provide mental models that are transferable within, and across, domains."
‘Effects with’ are the changes that take place while one is engaged in intellectual partnership with peers or with a computer tool, as, for example, is the case with the changed quality of problem solving that takes place when individuals work together in a team. On the other hand, ‘effects of’ are those more lasting changes that take place as a consequence of the intellectual partnership, as when computer-enhanced collaboration teaches students to ask more exact and explicit questions even when not using that system.
Secondly, tools shape behaviours. Tools shape cognition. Tools shape societal structures in both intended, and unintended, ways.
It seems to me that this will be achieved when we see them not simply using ICT as ‘tools’, but rather when we see students thinking differently as a result of their ubiquitous presence and facility. The invention of words, and subsequently the printing press, resulted in a new literacy because people now had words with which to think and to communicate. ‘Blue water’ with respect to ICT means that people must sufficiently appropriate these technologies in order that they become ‘media with which to think and to communicate’.
Because students have access to these tools, they are able to think critically and creatively to solve the task of their learning work. The New Media Literacies site cites four key parts of a new focus on literacy that will be essential from now and forward: create, circulate, connect, and collaborate. Remember cooperative learning? Do you rely on Think, Pair, Share? In this example whereby students access the same Google Doc to add ideas simultaneously, students extend those strategies in ways that allow all students to actively participate, and the teacher can view all the activity and offer feedback. That brings even more accountability to students to participate effectively.

Did you know you can create an open document not requiring sign-in for your students to add ideas?  Let's try it: Click this link to add a hope for our graduates. It's easy! And everyone can participate.
So yes, it IS the tool that enhances the strategies and skills, content and process, that students apply in authentic ways to learn what we require of them, and more.
Think about it. What if you and your students had access, and if they do have access, what will you try?

Please remember this is a school-related site. Model digital citizenship. Thank you.

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Please remember this is a school-related site. Model digital citizenship. Thank you.