If you do not read Catlin Tucker’s blog, you should. I love the work she does, and her blog is a balance of posts on big-picture thinking with practical ideas and strategies for things that can be done in the classroom. It is one of the top blogs in my reader, and I get excited every time she posts.
On a recent post, titled “Using Computers in the Classroom: Shifting from Consumption to Creation,” she shares ideas on using technology to create purposeful opportunities for learning in education. This quote at the end resonated with me:
If technology was used to encourage social learning, foster collaboration, and nurture creativity in the classroom, I believe more people would be excited about and supportive of technology in education.
Often when I hear pushback on technology in education, the connection is focused on (whether we want to admit it or not) if it improved test scores. As Catlin shares, the ideas of what we can do with technology are much bigger than only doing well on a test. Will the big ideas she alludes to (social learning, collaboration, creativity) be easily be measured by test scores? Not at all. But can technology accelerate those ideas? Only if we use technology in a transformational manner, allowing us to do things that we could not do before.
Think of it this way…If I get into a plane and all it does is drive me from point A to point B, not only is this not a transformational use, we know there are better tools for doing that specific job. Only when we choose to fly in the plane does that technology become transformational. It is on people to use technology to it’s fullest potential.
If we throw technology into an environment and measure only by the old standards, we are choosing not to use the technology in a way that is transformational to learning. If we focus on what we can do better because of the introduction of technology into the environment, as Catlin says, more people will be excited about the opportunity we give our students to soar to new heights for learning.