I recently read an excellent blog post by a member of my PLN (Personal Learning Network), Beth Holland. In her blog post, What are the Biggest Mistakes that Teachers Make with Technology, I love how she focused on specific words teachers use and the pressure those words put on some teachers.
Choice # 1 – Integrate…. Technology should be a tool that is chosen to be used in a classroom to improve productivity, teaching and communicate learning. Love her quote, “… we don’t hold trainings specific to pencil integration, nor do we ask teachers to specify plans to incorporate pencils into each lesson.” This quote reminds me of this funny, but true video “Ode to #PencilChat: Technology in the Classroom.”
Choice # “Technology” Projects…. Do not assign technology projects just because you feel like you have to in your classroom. “The power of digital tools is in how they give students voice & choice. Rather than assign a technology-based product and stress over how to “fit it in,” give students an objective (i.e. show your problem solving, demonstrate your understanding, communicate your opinion) and then encourage them to use any tools – analog and/or digital – which enable them to be creative.” I could not have said it better than Beth! Check out this cool video students made with their phone!
Choice #”What?” vs “What If…?” Start questions with “what if” to model for students ‘out of the box’ thinking and problem solving. Have you heard of the Growth Mindset? I have done a lot of reading on this topic and it is important for teachers to model this mindset for students to help them keep their sense of wonder and curiosity.