Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Learning from Technology

Will makes the comment:
We have to stop focusing on what teachers are doing with technology and start focusing on how they are learning with it.
I had to think about it for awhile, but I think I understand what he is saying: Using technology isn't enough. It isn't.

I use technology a fair amount in my classes. We use Moodle; we access the internet and do different kinds of activities; we make presentations using PowerPoint or Movie Maker. We have blogged and will again. We listen to audio online. But all that begs the question, "So what?"

As a teacher, I know that I have learned a great deal from technology. My blog and the blogs of others, as I have said before, provide me with some of the best professional development I have ever had. In using Moodle, I have had to think a lot about teaching and learning. I have struggled with deciding what should be done online and what should be done face to face in the classroom. I have reflected on my own teaching and on teaching and learning in general.

But I must also ask the question with regard to my students. What have they learned? Have they captured the spirit of the technological endeavors? Sometimes I think they have, but other times I think it is just something they go through the motions on -- like an interactive worksheet of some kind.

I took an online course this past semester, my second. This one was great; there was lots of good discussion and lots of opportunities for us to learn from each other. Do I provide that those kinds of opportunities for my students? If I provide the opportunities, do my students recognize and take advantage of them?

I still have a lot to think about and a lot to learn.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nancy, sometimes i think you've read my mind. I wonder, too about this sort of thing--what are my students actually learning with all of the technologies? I would love to have them for an entire year in order to see how they apply what they've done in one class (mine) to what they are doing in the next class. I think there is a "lag time" in which they absorb things in a confused ramble which needs time to sort itself out and sink in.