Monday, May 30, 2011

It's not the tools, it's the learning skills... Part 2

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

"The project I had planned as a simple way for them to share their book reports had turned quickly into a project that helped them build reading fluency and verbal expression skills…

Plan the lesson and the learning goals first, choose the tech tool last. However, I hadn't considered how the tool might help my students learn in other ways. So in the future, could I plan a lesson around GarageBand with the goal of increasing reading fluency?  Or would I plan a lesson on fluency, including my learning goals, keeping in the back of my mind how GarageBand would serve as a great tool to teach this skill?"

On this post, read a comment  by wrtngtchr:

"my comfort level increased exponentially when students became so engaged. It became immediately apparent which skills were supported by online tools so next year, I can be more deliberate and purposeful when I choose how to use technology to support learning."
As we use technology as a learning tool, the students' engagement helps us become more comfortable.  I found that to be so true -- Look again at this writing class post -- watch and listen to the noisy classroom. Yet, I heard planning, revising, editing, organizing, collaboration as they added more people (including me) to their skits, and an emphasis on explaining the content of cyberbullying so others students understand.  Technology helps bring authenticity to learning.

Look again at Mary Beth's students:

Here is her reflection and presentation on this and another project:

Once again, we see students engaged and learning skills: It's not the tech tools, it's the learning skills that are enhanced by engaged students.

At our school, we are working towards more technology in each classroom.  Will you try the tools before the technology arrives?

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.