What Comes First: the Curriculum or the Technology?
- Regardless of the technology, what’s the most important lesson for students to learn?
- Why do I need to use technology in my daily curriculum?
- How are these tech tools enhancing what we’re doing?
- What will the students do with these tools – during and after class?
Think Curriculum Enhancements, Not Technology Implementations
1) Learn How Students Are Using Technology at Home
2) Don’t Use Technology for the Sake of Using Technology
3) Focus on Just One Tech Implementation
4) Utilize the SAMR Model
The SAMR model, developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, represents the stages of tech integration: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition. This model challenges us to assess and reflect on not only how we integrate technology into our curriculum, but also how we modify, redefine and transform our classrooms through its use.
5) Actively Seek Out Professional Development Opportunities
- Younger students utilizing QR codes to add a challenging yet fun element to learning to spell.
- Older students creating digital books or movies to demonstrate a deep understanding on a topic, rather than simply discussing or assessing it.
- Video conferencing with other schools in your area or network to research, discuss, debate and develop potential solutions to globally significant problems.
- Skyping with local leaders and guest speakers on specific topics such as coding or programming, networking and composing music.
Integrating technology into the classroom can be exhilarating, fun, and at times a little scary. That said, I’ve often found that teachers are hungry for more information, and welcome the chance to bring new ideas to the classroom.
In the end, if teachers and their administration are ready to embrace the messiness and the risks that sometimes come with technology, the reward is that your school’s curriculum – which must be strong to start – can truly be taken to the next level, and beyond. Otherwise, we’ll all be still left trying to figure out how an abacus works.