I read an article by one of my favorite writers in education, Bill Ferriter (@plugusin) . In it, Bill asks tweeps “what one bit of advice” he should give district leaders around technology. Tim Wilhelmus (@twilhelmus) responded:
Behind Tim’s statement is the belief that people will use tools without understanding why. Better put, they will design lessons with the tool at the forefront, instead of designing for efficient and effective learning. This may happen, often, I am sure.
However, when we spend time debating whether or not a tool should be used, we are again putting the tool at the forefront. We end up with two camps: those for the tool and those against the tool. This argument is not the best vehicle for discussing effective lesson design.
If we all focused on the big idea (say, student learning) and truly know where our students are and what they need, we will free ourselves up from this false dichotomy.
- Start conversations about learning with the GOALS/concepts/outcomes at the forefront
- Avoid talking about the tools until the goal is transparent
- Add supportive tools when they make sense and are supportive of the goal
- Assess the learning to determine if the tool worked and the learning happened