Thursday, February 22, 2018

So You Don't Have A Chromecart

Or a mac cart, or 1:1, or anything like that.

   If your classroom situation is similar to mine, your school is not yet at 1:1 technology yet and so you are still trying to plan ahead to figure out what days you would like to use the lab and hoping that there are no benchmarks or standardized tests going on at the same time.

    I love being on Twitter and having interactions with educators from all over the world.  However, I will say that at times I allow my envy for schools with 1:1 computer access to takeover my definition for innovation.

    I am super fortunate to have administrators who see the need for tech in the classroom and are doing everything in their power to bring us closer to 1:1.  I know that we will get there soon (as a matter of fact we will be there NEXT year!), but until then that does not give me an excuse to deny my students innovative learning.

    On Twitter, I have said before that if you need continuous access to Twitter for your teaching to be innovative, then let me challenge your definition of innovation.  Innovation is not hitting the power button a chromebook, it's not opening GoogleDocs to type an essay, it's not making a collage with photos on various image searches.  Innovation is looking at a situation and having students react and create solutions based on the situation.

   Technology is one tool in the shed.  It can be a powerful tool, and I would argue that it will be a great tool in the future.  However, if our students use a rake to dig a hole then what that tells society is that we did not teach our students to use all the tools at their disposal.

    I am currently in the process of trying to find some different ways to innovate without technology.  A project that I am developing that would be helpful with technology, but can be done without is a trading card where I can print out templates and have students fill in the corresponding information based on how they apply what we have learned in class.  Now, I will do what I can to gain access to the computers, but if I can't I know that I can still inspire and engage my students.  Another project I have is based on our section of our Cold War Unit, students will have to develop a children's book.  Again, technology could certainly make it look flashy and pretty, but the innovation is not in the flash it is in the application and developing an authentic product.

    I know that I myself need to make sure that I am developing this mindset toward innovation.  There has been times where I have stopped myself short and said, "Well how can I innovate if I don't have access."  However, we don't need access to technology to be innovative.  We need access to students to encourage them to be innovative.  It is vital that we keep this mindset in perspective.

1 comment:

  1. Great blog Phil- Your students are fortunate benefit from your reflection, creativity, and innovation!