Monday, May 30, 2011

It's not the tools, it's the skills... Part 1

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


It's not the tech tools, it's the skills.

As teachers, we know what students need. The thing is, students have more ways of learning and showing their learning than ever before, and they want to learn this way.

We know that people over age 25 years of age in 2011 are hesitant about technology. They wonder why use it in schools.

In today's world, kids apply and learn their literacy skills while creating. Please read Silvia Tolisano's blogpost and follow her on Twitter for an amazing literacy learning journey with technology. @langwitches

This work by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.


Here are her skill sets for her use of technology in the classroom:




Look at her posters, then consider Bloom's Taxonomy. And when thinking about skills, consider what teachers have always focused on: objectives -- what the students can DO. In other words, the verbs of teaching using the technology or nouns of teaching. Please read Bill Ferriter's EdWeek article here


Now, it's not about the tech tools, it's about the verbs!


For a thorough set of resources on 21st Century learning --- using what we already know as good teachers, look at the wiki: Educational Origami where you can find resources such as this explanation of the digital Bloom's taxonomy:  Andrew Churches pdf, and this image explanation:







Now, think about these as you read about one of our writing class projects and lessons.

Listen to the engagement. Think about the verbs, "the DOing" by students to learn and understand what to do if one is cyberbullied:

  • Understand the content.
  • List the content.
  • Explain the content.
  • Organize the content.
  • Share and edit the content.
  • Collaborate to share and edit content.
  • Plan, design, and produce the content.

These are essential skills of the 21st Century. The tool engaged students and allowed application and practice of the skills.


It's not about the tech tools -- it's about the skills, the verbs student need to DO.


We incorporate technology into our classrooms so students learn the skills of today's literacies, not so they learn the tool.

Ask your students if they would participate in a project like this. What did they say?


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.