I was listening recently to a very short TED Talk by Ramsey Musallam entitled: “3 Rules To Spark Learning”. If you Google it, you will certainly find it. That six-minute talk presented three rules worth noting. Mr. Musallam’s following statement impacted me even more, given my appreciation for technology and how it needs to be used in the classroom.
Flipping a boring lecture from a class to the screen of a mobile device might save instructional time, but if it is the focus of our students’ experience, it’s the same dehumanizing chatter just wrapped up in fancy clothing. But if instead we have the guts to confuse our students, to perplex them and evoke real questions, through those questions we as teachers have information we can use to tailor robust and informed methods of blended instruction.
I believe technology can enhance and effectively support the learning of all students. I believe technology can actually make a huge difference in learning for many. I have seen it in action from pre-K classrooms to Post Secondary. I do not believe I should use technology just for the sake of using technology. Just because a classroom has a set of iPads or Chromebook’s in the classroom, does not mean the technology is being effectively used.
Technology is about blended instruction. Technology should ‘disappear’ into the classroom, providing support to the learner. It is not meant to be used as a time filler or a ‘wow’ event. You can only get so many ‘cool’ retorts from learners. Real leadership in technology integration takes the tried and true strategies such as ‘real questioning’ (watch Musallam’s TED Talk) and integrate it into a natural and powerful flow for learning.