Never Was About Technology?- Time to Focus on Learning?

As I am attempting to grasp the magnitude of how to be/become/ grow into a piece of the puzzle that helps start (?)/develop and eventually complete a shift of our schools to better prepare and help students learn “TODAY”. (P.S. I am getting a little tired of the “21st century” label, since we are almost 10 years into that new century…),

I wonder… What makes the difference? Does Technology (Integration) really make the difference?

Don’t misunderstand… technology tools play a huge role …but…are they the deciding factor of making a difference? I remembered a quote of  Conor Bolton :

“poor teaching + technology = expensive poor teaching”

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While I was completing my Masters Degree in Instructional Technology, I was convinced that by helping teachers integrate technology into their lessons (doing the same thing…just with technology) would make the difference.

While I was a Technology Integration Facilitator, I was convinced that by co-teaching with classroom teachers, we would give students the opportunity to work with different media to extract/ share information and express themselves while not adding to the teacher work load of doing “one more thing”. We used technology tools to engage studentgs and activate THEIR way of thinking and learning while teaching the CURRENT curriculum and that would make the difference.

Now, I have arrived at a point in the process where I believe that it is not (never was) about technology. To make a difference, it has always been about good teaching, reflecting and focusing on (relevant?) student learning.

Ask yourself what happens to student learning when:

  • a teacher does not have a (teaching) plan that they are able/required to follow?
  • the “plan” is outdated/has been used for the last 5 years?
  • teachers (across grade levels and subject areas) teach in isolation of each other?
  • teachers have forgotten, are not interested in, don’t have time for, or are not supported in their own learning?
  • collaboration and communication among administrators and teachers in order to pursuit of the common goal called student learning is out of sync or non existent?
  • teaching means covering lessons, units, objectives and standards and does not involve teaching for understanding?

How  (in what capacity/role) can we best make a difference in helping students learn?