Technology Fosters Agency

Howard Gardner:  Project Zero Summer Institute 2013

Howard Gardner: Project Zero Summer Institute 2013

This week, I reflected on a great quote from Howard Gardner during  the Project Zero Summer Institute 2013.

“Kids need to learn to live WITH technology.  Kids need to learn to live WITHOUT technology.”

Simple words with deep meaning.

I have been a supporter of  teachers helping to lead the effective use of technology in the classroom.   Trying to filter all the options in a meaningful way is a challenge for all of us.  Which tool do you use, when?  Which tool is the best?

This morning I read a great article by Susan Oxnevad (@soxnevad) via Mindshift entitled:  3 Ways to Encourage Higher Order Thinking with Technology.  The author has embraced the SAMR model of tech integration.

“One simple way of understanding our pedagogical theory of iPads is that we don’t want them to just become replacements for notebooks and textbooks, we want them to be objects to think with. We want students using them to mess around with the world around them and their courses of study.”

This is about doing “tech” well by using the tools in a graceful and meaningful way.  

Technology  helps us DO something with our THOUGHTS 

Here are three ways Oxnevad recommends for teachers to prepare to design learning experiences that encourage higher order thinking through the use of technology as a tool for learning.

  1. Develop a digital toolkit
  2. Design flexible learning experiences (centered around essential questions)
  3. Get out of the way and let students create

If we learn HOW to harness the good in technology, it can be a  vehicle for students to bridge the knowing-doing gap. Technology isn’t mandatory, but we should allow students the choice to use it when it works.   After all, making thinking HAPPEN is our goal .


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