Saturday, November 15, 2014

Teaching with technology versus using technology to teach

Was at the WTI conference today, it was a good day -- a good PD day.  It really made me think how I use and need to use technology for creating students ready for the world.  My prior belief was reaffirmed --- the device is not important, the project is.  Devices are simply tools - it is the set up of the project and direction (or in my case lack of direction - I like making students decide their project's fate) of the work.

The keynote, Kristen Swanson, spoke about what learning really is.  Students doing problems in class then on a test is not learning; the point of education is "transfer" and that is what I need to continue to locate for my students.  A way to use the math, the problem solving on real world projects.  To take the skills and use them in a context outside my classroom.

A really good problem, with a really messy answer and a chance for students to attack and learn.  Empower students to be persistent and let them own their project.  That is the goal I am walking away with - get the problem and give them the tech.

Use the tech to focus on instant access, to find real authentic audiences -- that empowers the students to work on the problem to show persistence, to do - which all means to learn.

I feel re-energized to find ways to take the math to the world.  Because I want to make sure my students are able to use their skills in the world.  I want them to be problem solvers, so I want that transfer (I also want them to be ready for college math - so again it is a blend).

Finally the keynote spoke about unleashing student's superpowers, which made me think what is mine - and I think mine is my commitment to finding the messy problems, leaving it open ended with multiple solutions.  The problems and projects that stretch students.  My students would call it Captain Annoying most likely at first - but in the end it makes them (and me) better.

Again, overall a good PD day.