10 INNOVATIVE WAYS TO USE TECHNOLOGY IN THE CLASSROOM
Because @ChrisK says so. In 2007, I started an EdTech blog that has me answering this question a lot. But I'm a rebel, so mine isn't exactly a list of ten things that will blow your mind, but rather 10 guidelines of what to look for when tech is in the classroom.
- 1.Refuse any technology that uses an app as replacement for a worksheet.That's not innovative and it's lazy education. You're not fooling anyone developers!! Worksheets and the apps that mimic them are where learning goes to die. If your kids school touts this as innovative tech use, fire them.
- 2.Connect kids with experts.This year our kids shared their learning on Twitter/blogs and as result connected with: author Steven Johnson, PBS, author Warren Berger, Broncos player Von Miller (got in-person interview), and Lavar Burton (Reading Rainbow lives on!!) nothing like those you look up to cheering on learning. Thanks technology for making learning transparent!
- 3.Replace one-size-fits-all curriculumIf your curriculum is one-size-fits-all, you're doing it wrong. Using technology to create resources that are alive? Way better. We use QR codes and Pinterest to drive inquiry. As students follow and are passionate about different lines of inquiry, the resources grow and adapt accordingly.
- 4.Apps that reveal geniusSo often kids get labeled. "Dyslexic". The labels tend to define kids super narrowly and mask genius. Apps can unlock the genius. Snap a picture of text and it is read to them. Playing field is leveled. Genius flourishes.
- 5.Reveal humanity.When you look at the spaces where kids are when using technology, you'll notice a theme. Kids gravitate toward the spaces where humanity is. Social media (choose flavor of the month), minecraft, etc. Want to transform learning? Find opportunities to honor the humanity. Technology can help.
- 6.Technology connects kids with every answer.Answers are at their finger tips. Knowledge and content can't be the goal of education. Instead: the wisdom and discernment to determine what is truth and what is BS.
- 7.Make learning transparent.Our students like to do this with: Explain Everything, You Tube, stop motion, blogs, and Evernote. (Medium isn't important, sharing with others is.)
- 8.Recognize technology is a tool.I always think it's interesting that we call out schools as being 1:1 ( every student has tech). But we don't ever say things like, "my kid goes to a 1:1 pencil/book/paper school." Technology is a tool that we use to learn. It isn't THE learning.
- 9.Test out ideasI love the way tech lets kids test ideas in ways they couldn't before. Simulators, 3d printers, plotters, programming, video editors, etc. it is super cool for students to bring ideas to life like the professionals.
- 10.Kid camPut a GO Pro on a kid, instant world view shift. See what is important to them, what the school looks like from their viewpoint, how they tackle problems. So much educators can learn from the kid cam!