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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Don’t plan for technology; plan for learning by Alan November

"You never know how someone will react when you suggest that they junk their title and replace it with a new one that leads to a different focus of work—not to mention the confusion this could cause across the faculty, or the possible political tension it might generate".

Photo: eSchool News 
If all teachers learned how to use all of the available tools—a nearly impossible and hugely time-consuming task—this might not lead to improved learning. I have watched students in laptop schools sitting in rows, taking notes on their machines from a teacher who is giving a decade-old lecture on an interactive whiteboard. While this kind of implementation might be deemed a success in terms of the technical adoption, it’s nothing more than the same script with new tools—and we shouldn’t expect any different results. There has to be more to this massive investment than introducing new tools, only to end up with same work.

One of the most important learning design questions is, “What do teachers need to unlearn in order to shift ownership of the learning process to their students?” For example, I believe that in many cases, we should teach students to research their own answers to problems, rather than depend on a teacher to answer the question for them.   I also believe we can empower students to co-create assessments. Whoever “owns” the learning will take more responsibility for its quality.
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 About the Author

Alan November is the founder of ed-tech consulting firm November Learning. Join Alan in Boston for the 2013 Building Learning Communities Conference, where pre-conference sessions and keynotes with Dr. Yong Zhao and Dr. David Weinberger will lead into three days containing more than 100 sessions focusing on Common Core, critical thinking, global communication, creativity, and other ways to achieve more meaningful teaching and learning enhanced by technology.

Source: eSchool News