how does technology fit with learning?

Image: Puzzle by edithbruck made available through a creative commons license on flickr.

” It is our goal in developing an integrated curriculum to ensure that the way students learn with technology agrees with the way they live with technology.”

I love this goal – written by Dennis and cited by his colleague Justin.

It marks a shift away from seeing technology as an extra layer to education, as something nice to know and separate from the ‘real business’ of learning (teaching) in schools.

Justin asks these important questions:

So what technology skills do students NEED to know?

You ask 10 educators this question and they will give out 10 different answers.
Terms like Power Point,Word, Dream Weaver, Web Search often appear in them.

Should they not be replaced with with words like: Communicate, Write, Evaluate, and Think?

That last bit heard me yell a resounding YES! at my computer screen. How does technology fit into education? It is embedded. I can no longer see it as a layer, to slip on or off of my curriculum as the mood stirs me. Kids live with technology. They experience much of their world through it. If I expect my students to succeed I need to teach with this in mind.

Kids know how to use powerpoint. But do they know when? They know how to search for something on the web. But do they know how to analyze and synthesize their results? They know how to make web pages, but do they know how to create something pertinent and readable?

And when they don’t know these basic technological skills, I show them to them in about 5 minutes (or better yet, I get a peer to show it to them) so that we can get on to the bigger business of communicating, writing, evaluating, and thinking.

Kudos to Justin and Dennis for elaborating their goals and asking these pertinent questions…and thanks for sharing!

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