Take the Technology out of the Equation

Maybe it is time to take “Technology” out of the equation at our schools. Who still wants bring in technology for technology sake? Technology Integration is not about the skill set, but about the mind set and above all about STUDENT LEARNING. So why is there still resistance (open and quiet) from teachers and/or lack of support from administration?

Let’s not turn the discussion to the reasons and excuses why teachers have no time, no equipment, no interest, no skills to integrate technology and concentrate WHAT schools need to do to support their students in becoming the best learners they can be.

Let’s turn the discussion to what is required to teach well? Now (not last century)! In this society (abundance of cell phones, internet access, video games) !With  students of this generation (always connected, instant gratification, accustomed to media rich interaction)!

  • How do we teach students how to learn?
  • How do we motivate and engage learners?
  • How do we create a climate where learning is valued, not test scores or a covered text book?

Maybe we need to find common ground among the teachers and administrators at our schools. Take the word “technology” out of the discussion. That word seems to mean too many different things to too many different people (even scare). Maybe we need to be talking about something no one can deny as a priority in our schools: STUDENT LEARNING. Maybe we if we talk on that common ground,  there will be less resistance, more collaboration and communication on how to achieve that.

I was trying to come up with a visual that could serve as a starting point in this new conversation.

How does learning look like in the 21st Century?

I started out by brainstorming within Wordle keywords, then asking my Twitter network to contribute their thoughts.
wordle-learning3

Darren Kuropatwa and participants from an international PLP cohort collaboratively worked on a presentation titled : Teaching Well.

Slide 2 especially resonated with me with a quote from Benjamin Zander

The conductor of an orchestra does not make a sound…he depends for his power on his ability of making other people powerful.

conductor-metaphor

Benjamin Zander by flickr user World Economic Forum

At the same time that I was looking at Darren’s presentation, a tweet from Nancy vonWahlde came about her new blog post  Global Collaboration 102.  Nancy writes:

Perhaps my job title next year should be Global Collaborations Conductor as these projects all can fit easily into the current curriculum and learning 21st Century skills. I would choose “Conductor” over “Coordinator” as I would create long-term plans to make the collaboration more meaningful and also be present each time a related activity was implemented with the class.

Technology Integrators becoming “conductors” in order to empower teachers to support learners.

I then came created the following visual, using PowerPoint’s Smart Art Graphics.
What does Learning mean?

What are your thoughts on finding common ground among our school’s stakeholders? What does learning mean to you and for your students?