Powerful learning first technology second. What does this mean in the classroom? Well, have you heard the school that bragged that “we have all new, shiny ______.” And in the blank insert Chromebook, iPads, BYOD, or laptops. It doesn't really matter what shiny new thing they purchased. These schools just had “things.” And supposedly “these things” were going to make everything better at school. No personal development. No training of the teachers. Just the mere existence of this shiny, bright, “thing” was going to make everything better at the school.
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Let me make a point. You can't buy “things” to fix problems that are caused by human behavior. Technology can make a good teacher better, but there is no technology fix to make a poor teacher anything but poor. In fact, I've seen that technology can make a poor teacher worse because of the potential for a loss of control.
For a while, everybody thought the “bright, shiny thing” theory would be true. Until reports of breakage and discipline issues arose like a sea monster. This is what happens when you put in the hardware, buy the software, but you don't take time to educate the human software that is so necessary for the effective use of education technology in schools. You can't just buy “stuff” and expect improvement and change.
In today's show, George Couros and I have a conversation about how you can put learning first and make the learning more powerful using education technology. It's a little bit of a harder answer than just “let's buy stuff.” But then again, the greatest things in this life aren't for sale. The greatest things in life always have to be worked for, and an effective education technology is no exception.
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What we need to do when we purchase new technology?
How do we effectively use technology in powerful ways?
Are there examples of where schools have put technology first learning second, and what does that look like when it happens?
What is the answer for effective education technology implementation?
- Hear the Full Innovator's Mindset Series with George Couros.
Who is George Couros?
George Couros is an Innovative Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Consultant and the author of the book, “The Innovator's Mindset.”
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This same thing has happened in my district. We received Smart boards in each of our classrooms in order to use our new math curriculum. Many schools didn’t even get them installed until after the school year began and then teachers were just expected to start using them to teach all of the math lessons. Some teachers jumped right in, began to explore, and figured out enough to be able to teach the lessons while others who were not as tech-savy were more apprehensive and did not use them at all.