This post was first published on Inside the Classroom, Outside the Box. It is reprinted with permission.
“The technology itself is not transformative. It’s the school, the pedagogy, that is transformative.”
– Tanya Byron
I am in schools and classrooms daily and too often I see the misuse of how technology should be used. Often times I hear Principals or teachers say, “yes we are using technology, see how this teacher is using ______ (fill in blank with website or tool),” but the students are not using anything.
Or I see technology being used as – for lack of a better term – a “babysitter.” They will tell me how they use Dreambox or Compass Learning as a station or something students can do after they finish their classwork.
Technology should be used to transform the classroom and school to allow for authentic, real world application. Technology should be supporting the curriculum goals, and helping the students to effectively reach their learning goals.
Here are some questions to help you assess yourself to see how you or your school are integrating technology. Rate yourself by using the scale: zero — we don’t do this — or 5 — we do this with fidelity — in all _______ subjects (if you are a teacher) or classrooms (if you have a school perspective).
- Are digital resources being utilized with purpose?
- Are teachers/administration modeling for students/teachers using transformative technology in their classroom/school?
- Do assignments provide opportunities for creativity and critical thinking?
- Do students own their own learning? Do they have choice in what tool they use or product they create?
- Do students use technology to create authentic products that are for authentic audiences to show their understanding of learning outcomes?
20 – 25 Score: You are showing mastery with using technology to transform learning. Ask yourself, “How can I contribute in helping others integrate technology to transform learning?” Use this as your next step to empower others.
10 – 20 Score: You are on your way with using technology to transform learning. Look at your lowest score for the questions and ask yourself: what can I do to make this better?
0 – 10 Score: You are starting your journey in implementing technology into your school or classroom. Take a look at the first question and see how you can improve in this area. If you did well on this question, then look at the next question as the question go in order of transformation. Only select one question to improve upon to not overwhelm yourself or anyone at your school.
Other resources and ideas to help you integrate technology into your classroom:
Jill’s previous blog posts on integrating technology