When educators talk about all of the great ways to incorporate technology into the classroom, it is easy to make education about the technology and not the message or curriculum, or the whole student. However, it is wise to start with the learning goals that are based on the curriculum and needs of the students.
We want to consider the following question: How can we use our knowledge and tools to foster not just higher order thinking skills and understanding, but to also enable students to learn more about themselves and others?
Student Success as defined by Ministry’s of Education is about meeting the interests, needs, and strengths of all students and engaging them in learning. However, I believe that this definition needs to be further tweaked to encompass the concept of students having attained equity and justice, such as with our FNMI students. We can promote our students interests, needs, strengths, and promote equity and justice for FNMI students with the effective use of technological tools.
It is important to not fall into the trap of being ‘taken in’ by the latest and greatest fads, without knowledge and understanding of how to appropriately use with students. Technology use is not about the newest apps, or newest tools. It is about how we can use it to connect with others, and make meaningful connections to enhance learning and understanding. Start with Learning goals, and then decide and plan the tools to meet our goals. For instance, learning goals that align with Board Improvement Plans may discuss the infusion of First Nations, Metis & Inuit (FNMI) culture into the classroom. Technology can be used bring Aboriginal culture via social media into the classroom, and help our classrooms integrate FNMI knowledge.
It is easy for educators to get caught up in the ‘mechanics’ of the tools we use to promote learning. There are a lot of ‘should’s’ and ‘musts’ when it comes to incorporating the newest technological fads and ‘flavours’ of the month. However, educators are the most ethical and effective when we work within our own Boundaries of Competence, and strive to educate the whole student.
3 steps to begin to move toward the competent use of technology with your learners:
1. Identify what you need
2. Create your learning goals
3. Seek out support to meet those goals from various places including Professional Learning Networks on Twitter!
What strategies do you use to work within your own boundaries of competence?
Deborah McCallum and Big Ideas in Education, 2012-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Deborah McCallum and Big Ideas in Education with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.