Engaging in a Discussion about Empowering Student Learning with Technology

Looking at my gator today, I read a Around the Corner post about technology to empower learning.  Mr. Guhlin post several questions from the Technology to “Empower Student Learning” blog that I am going to attempt to answer myself.

Who? Who should know about and use this tool? Who will benefit the most from the use of this tool?

It all depends, but for the most part the user will likely be the students, teachers, and the global community to which they will interact with.

What? What is the functionality of this tool? What thinking/process skills does it support?

Self expression, collaboration, using critical thinking,  research, creativity, problem solving,  and networking.

Where? Where in the curriculum does the use of this tool make the most sense and provide the most support for learning?

State, District, Personal Goals, ISTE

When? When would I choose to use this tool instead of something else (including paper and pencil)?

Hmm, depends on the situation.  There certainly situations where either one can be used to meet the goals set for your class, however technology appeals more to the 21st century needs of students.  So, I would it would be case-to-case on this one.

Why? Why should teachers be using this tool in our instruction? Why should students use this tools for their learning?

For one, students probably know how to use most of the tools I would like to incorporate in my instruction, so I would like to tap into their knowledge to help them produce something extraordinary.   Some of the tools would act as a gateway to a discussion with the rest of the world and doing so open up new opportunities for learning.

What are the educational purposes should the school seek to attain?

Schools should seek for students to reach a level of autonomy to engage in projects that incorporate elements from a variety of disciplines to solve issues in the world.

What educational experiences can be provided that are likely to attain these purposes?

I’m not exactly sure on this one, but projects that start students on the right path working with other via distance learning and taking the “training wheels” off and let them control the project would be a good start.

How can these educational experiences be effectively organized?

Wikis, blogs, podcasts, etc. can all be incorporated to provide the proper learning environment for students to organize their activities for effective learning.

How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained?

Well, we cannot revert back to a traditional form of assessment for a project of this nature, so it would more than likely have to be a performance-based assessment using a rubric.  Maybe even add in a peer evaluation of their own work and the work of their peers.  Just an idea.

I did my best to answer these tough questions and I hope the conversation keeps on going to open up the opportunity for change to occur.

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