Friday, June 4, 2010

when it's ubiquitous

Moderately Assiduous Student:
I don't know why we have all these technology projects. I'm using MovieMaker in one class, Animoto in another, and I just finished up a VoiceThread.
Instructional Technology Coach:
They're not technology projects.
Moderately Assiduous Student About To Ask The Question IT Coach Wants To Hear:
Then what are they?
IT Coach:


Reading from Maine said...

Do you wonder whether something is missing in the purpose and understanding of these assignments? If the student sees them as 'technology assignments' then the emphasis on technology may be getting in the way of the learning,not enhancing it.

Ken Rodoff said...

Thanks for leaving a comment. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.

Your question forced some reflection (that's a good thing), and as I reflected, I keep thinking that the assignment's purpose and understanding were both explicit, as only the outcome product changed.

The teacher had a different project in place for some time, but decided to do something incorporating digital storytelling.

The teacher made it a point (as did I) to insure that students understood that the entire project, from beginning to end, focused more on 'knowing' the material and each student's ability to 'convey' the content in a meaningful talking to another person.

The use of MovieMaker and digital cameras made the students think, plan, consider the best way to make their knowledge accessible for others (as the goal was to use the finished products as part of our school's recognition of Constitution Day, Fall 2010).

The teacher and I kept focusing students on 'message', 'audience', but the students wanted to focus on 'completion'. But this type of outcome project takes more time than students are used to. So they began to see this as 'technology driven'.

But the interesting part: Almost all of the students, when stopped in the hallways, oould tell you, with confidence and clarity, about their respective topics.

Moving forward, the teacher and I have found ways to expedite the 'tech' process.

And your comment will lead us to continually insure that we're clear about the purpose of the assignment.

Again, thanks for the comment.