November 1, 2017

Yes, difficult to believe but today my grade 10’s cut and pasted, like old school, with scissors and glue. They were just as surprised as you are. After all, I am the techie teacher. I will admit that as I was planning the lesson, I did consider my options, slideshows, spreadsheets, even a Desmos activity, but none of them added anything to the activity, and using them would cause more of a distraction than anything else.

When I started on this journey I was given some very good advice,

If doing it on a tablet is not better than doing it with pen and paper, then you should be doing it with pen and paper.

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It is so easy to lose sight of the actual goal. We start focusing on going paperless and using all the cool gadgets instead of using technology to improve the kids learning. Screen time improve, but teaching doesn’t change.

The problem is that going paperless is easier to measure than how actively your learners are involved in their lessons. So administration put pressure on the teachers to tick all the boxes, instead of giving them room to decide what is best for their learners.

One of the big pluses in digitising my curriculum is that I find myself questioning every activity we do in class. But you have to ask yourself the right questions. The question is not “What app can I use for this activity?” but rather

  • How does it improve or enhance the learning?
  • How does it shift the focus to the students putting them at the centre of learning?
  • Does it require curiosity, critical thinking, and creativity?
  • Does it allow students to accomplish something they could not without the technology?

And if you find that using technology is not improving the activity, then by all means colour in, cut and do some maths.

Do you think technology can spoil a perfectly good activity?

Share some activities you do in class that you think technology would just spoil.

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