Technology Intergration

I believe that good use of digital technology in math and science is the same as in any subject. Activities must be authentic, develop new learning, and not be a replica of a task that could be done in the classroom without it. When I think of positive and rich technology learning tasks I think of virtual fieldtrips, or using virtual reality to see inside a cell and explore it. To me successfully integration is not reading an article online and answering questions, or watching a video about resources when you could be outside exploring your own community. If an iPad becomes a device to just read information then it becomes a very expensive textbook and does not support an inquiry or constructivist based approach to learning.
For students to build their conceptual understanding Schneps (1989) in his video talks about the need for students to touch and manipulate it. Heather was struggling with understanding direct and indirect light. As this is a more abstract concept that is difficult to show her misconception continued. I believe here is an area when bringing technology into your classroom is an excellent example of how create an hands on lesson to learn about seasons and indirect light – http://www.keslerscience.com/teach-seasons-with-this-amazing-station-lab-activity/ . From here student could capture their learning and create a digital story and then share it. I don’t believe this is a vision, while ensuring that you have access to iPad’s and some thermometers are needed in this lesson, many schools are becoming much more integrated. As with any change in our classrooms, a desire must be had and then a passionate few have the ability to influence the greater cohort and bring about the change.

Reference:
Schneps, Matthew. A Private Universe: Misconceptions That Block Learning. Massachusetts, USA: Annenberg Media, 1989. video.

3 comments

  1. I liked your comment about devices just being used as glorified research or entertainment units. These devices we have in our possession have capabilities far beyond what they are generally used for. As you say it generally requires an individual with a passion for technology to move a school in a positive direction of digital literacy. I feel as if the inattention and disruption we often see in classes is the result of teachers not understanding that this Net Generation is demanding learning to evolve. Many teacher have little to no understanding of the multimodal tools that students have a adeptness with that can be tapped and converted into directed learning outcomes.

    1. Like Nathan, I think you’ve hit on an important point: While technology may start off as substitute, it needs to move beyond serving as ‘glorified overhead’ towards accommodating different learning pedagogies. Technology helps to visualize abstract concepts and to change perspectives between models, providing hands-on interaction that can generate further questions developing curiosity for deeper learning.

      Andrew

  2. Great post! “Activities must be authentic, develop new learning, and not be a replica of a task that could be done in the classroom without it.” I feel like I reiterate this to teachers over and over again. If you are simply replacing a worksheet with technology, you’re missing the point. There are so many amazing ways teachers are using technology in the classroom. My favourite professional development platform is twitter. Being a lifelong learner, I am constantly challenged by ideas I come across and consider how I could use that with my community of learners. When you can bring angles to life using a Sphero, students are suddenly demonstrating play-based learning, and using critical thinking skills to code their Sphero. When teachers see how technology like this can transform a math unit, they are more inclined to jump onboard. Like our students, teachers often need hands-on interaction to see the benefits. 🙂

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