Adopt and Adapt: Shaping Tech for the Classroom

The introduction to this reading really struck home with me. Throwing the tools of technology around, even one-to-one, does not equate informed, effective use of technology. Having been involved in a recent job search and having discussed the use of technology with educators in the Kanto region as part of my work on the Technology Development Team at my previous school I am in a particularly informed position in this regard. Even in such cases where there are informed educators involved in the process of supporting less able teachers it is in the ability of the teachers to both understand and execute the facility of technology in their classrooms while having the strength to let go enough to let the students take responsibility for much of their shared learning while doing so.

The shift to expanded skill sets must also be part of this emerging new era of what school means. The resistance as well rings true with me as there was a years long battle just for Wi-Fi access at a previous school as we were told it posed some risk to the network. Now, at a new school temporarily, the vice principal came and had a chat with me about my letter to the parents asking them to purchase USB memory sticks for their children. Apparently, these are just too risky for the school to tolerate.

This lead to the next focus of this piece, that of teacher competence with the technology youth are already engaged with and, in many cases, better able to use. Other obstacles to the fuller integration required for better implementation cited were costs (though falling costs should help erode this barrier) and social barriers (digital natives vs. digital immigrants). Schools cannot afford to be conservative in their assessment and implementation of technology if they wish to best serve the needs of their students. With a ll that has changed since previous generations, students must now, more than ever, be the starting point in our creation of curricula tailored for the future. The failure to consult students was outlined as a recipe for disaster in developing this new curriculum.
The argument is further suggested that all schools need to become connected and share what works and what doesn’t. Am I seeing a pattern here? Giving the students the tools they need firth future, furthermore, makes them more efficient learners of the knowledge now currently mandated by schools.
I don’t doubt what the man says. Nor do I doubt what a big job this is given the resistance we face.

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About Sean Thompson

Sean has accepted a position as the Director of Technology at The Early Learning Centre, City School, in Bangkok. He is excited to be working with Giovanni Piazza and the rest of the staff to raise awareness of digital-age teaching and learning practice in this Reggio Emilia inspired environment. Sean is also an Apple Distinguished Educator, an International Baccalaureate Educator Network Workshop Leader and a Google Educator available for professional development at your school.
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One Response to Adopt and Adapt: Shaping Tech for the Classroom

  1. Adam says:

    Hi Sean – Thanks for this piece. I am really curious to see and will probably have the opportunity in your later posts to learn how this shift in focus away from random application of technology to more concerted connection takes you as an educator. We are on a journey with this stuff that I think your comment, “Am I seeing a pattern here?” suggests nicely. I wonder what will surface for your needs as the most beneficial pattern.

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