Inquiry B

Time- importance- use My comment on Vista on Jan 22, 2012

“……The pedagogical rules we apply to students apply to our learning as well. Content needs to be relevant – and we need that guidance to take us over our ZPD’s – and we need to own our learning.”

Examination of  many case studies, our own interviews, and those of our colleagues has lead to a very intense discussion on Vista about the need of providing teachers opportunities to learn educational technology. We often talk about Pro-d’s and PLC’s at school. During this discussion, I made the above mentioned comments and since then I have been giving it some thought.

Picture from Harvard Law School Site

Just because we are adults, do the rules of pedagogy fail to apply? We often talk at school about how there is extensive manipulatives  use in primary grade for math learning which suddenly disappears when students reach intermediate grades. Teachers justify this by stating bigger class sizes and students getting distracted. But by taking away an essential  scaffolding we are doing these students a dis-favour?Math is a very abstract subject and students need to examine it in a concrete fashion – specially students who are at a concrete learning stage [ Piaget’s Learning Theory].

What I am trying to say is, that as learners grow we take away a lot of support, hoping everyone is becoming indepedent at the same time -have similar abilities. We are making the same assumptions with teachers. Just because they are educators does not mean all teachers have similar abilities and interests. Many need to be guided into examining and applying  effective pedagogical approaches. They need to be shown  why and how technology is effective and this needs to be done in relevance to their teaching. Showing a grade 2 teacher use of technology in grade 10 may not be very relevant.

Encouraging teachers to use technology requires more thought than putting tools infront of them and providing sporadic support.

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