What does learning in a techy world look like in your classroom?

I can’t think of a different way to put it. For some reason I hate the phrases ‘learning with technology, learning with tech, technology based learning, even learning in a techy world’ and any other statement that puts an emphasis on the technology, as if it is something different from the tools of learning to begin with. In mine, it isn’t something added on but it’s pretty much the functioning of the class, tools that we have come used to using as we learn. I wrote about this one day last year, when I was late to class and the kids knew to hit up the blog and began doing their work – some at their tables, some in a quiet area so they could do video responses on their laptops, some alone, some talking together.

[Aha. laptops. We were very fortunate. We had a private donor give us 10 000 $ last year, a good sum of which was used to buy mini-laptops. (this leads to a whole other story about the validity of conversations on tech integration when we know there are many, many schools, students who have no tech to integrate into their learning across not only the world but North America as well.)]

That kind of integration did not happen over night. That scene happened about a month into the school year. It was a result of daily lessons on different ways to respond to query (conversation, video response, written response…), on how to read a blog entry (the whole thing, not just skimming through and then asking – so what do we do?), and on how to work independently. Oh, and I had taught English to the same group of students the previous year as well.

What does learning look like in your classroom? Do you use techy tools? Is it any different than any other kind of student-directed learning, just using different tools?


  • Michael Doyle says:

    Dear Tracy,

    I keep not answering this post, because I keep not knowing what I’m doing.

    We are using 1:1 net books this year, courtesy of grant funding. I also just bought 2 4×8 panels of shower board yesterday to make 12 mini-whiteboards to use as Luddite ThinkPads.

    Ultimately it’s not about the tools, although they (usually) help. When I teach along the bay’s edge, I use my hands, my voice, and whatever critters I manage to get my hands on.

    Ask the same question in a few months, and I hope to give a better answer. Until then, I think Elona sums it up nicely–“it is a struggle though.”

  • elona says:

    “What does learning look like in your classroom? “Do you use techy tools? Is it any different than any other kind of student-directed learning, just using different tools?”

    I am trying not to let the technology drive the curriculum but instead let the technology be used as tools my students can use in a constructivist way for learning and evaluating what they learn.

    It is a struggle though.

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