I really enjoyed the humor of Marco Torres and Donald Henderson when they illustrated the changes of technology through time from a cave man using slates and stones to a chalkboard, white board, overhead project and finally PowerPoint. With this illustration it was made very clear that the medium to which the instructions were give had changed, the method of teaching did not change. This is so important to think about. Learning how to use technology to fit the same exact teaching methods that we are accustomed to will not produce creative and innovative students who will be prepared for today’s world.
We need to be thinking outside of the box. We need to think about what these technology tools can really do or provide for our students. We must make education to be relevant to the real world for our students.
Marco and Donald talked about how business were not looking for people who had “Office” skills (skills in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint) but that they were looking for people who were creative. Not just creative but also people with the ability to present their ideas and communicate their ideas.
I’ve been thinking about this discussion with my grade 5 & 6 class in mind. Many of the things mentioned are not relevant to the age level of my students but I have been thinking about what types of educational experiences I could be doing or beginning with these students. I believe that I can begin teaching my students good collaborative skills, peer tutoring, and communicative skills even with my curriculum. Some of the communication that can take place might be best put into a blog for my students. I know many of my students don’t have permission from their parents to have their own email accounts yet, but they all have access to the Internet.
If I can find an blog site that doesn’t require them to have their own account or email account than it would be a great place for my students to collaborate and communicate ideas with each other at school or even at home. I definitely need to do more research on this idea…but I am excited about the possibilities.