Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Constructivist Teaching With Technology: Learning With Laptops

I have made a promise to myself that was going to try to do less live blog note-taking and more reflective blogging. Chris Lehman said to me today that he has gathered enough "stuff" here for MONTHS of thoughtful blogs and like he, I need time to reflect on it. Kurt Paccio took some good notes on his blog so I will let you look at those...

My thought of the day comes from a presentation I went to by the Arapahoe HS teachers led by Karl Fisch--of Did you Know fame...The newest version of his PowerPoint is on YouTube and even if you saw version 1, it is worth seeing this version. AND David Warlick of the LandMark Project. I watched as a team of teachers shared the process, the successes, the failures of creating a constructivist model. They shared examples, spoke passionately, and really made the walls of their school transparent. Transparency in the classroom...what a risk they are taking opening the doors of their school to the world. Think about what a paradigm shift this must be. And all with just 2 classroom carts of laptops...2 carts...known by the WORLD!!!!! How can they be SO successful....
Professional Development---THEY don't focus on the technology, while they'd LOVE to have it, the focus is on shifting from a teacher centered model to a learner center model. I listened to David Warlick saying the same thing...He actually suggested that we STOP INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGY????? If we are to come to a conclusion, it is not that we need to integrate technology.
Instead of integrating technology, we must INTEGRATE LITERACY—we need to think about what are the basic skills the kids need to be ready for their information landscape…the technology will come along—but not because we are putting their hands on machine. These machines are the pencil paper of their time, these are the tools of their time.

Two Things we know
1. We are preparing kids for an unpredictable future therefore the BEST thing we can do is teach them to teach themselves

2. Nature of Information has changed therefore we MUST change how we define literacy

These 2 ideas can be merged by beginning to think in terms of LEARNING LITERACY—they will be learning for the rest of their lives and THESE are the things that we NEED to start to teach...
Learning literacy...preparing kids for their future...wow what a concept


  1. Good entry it reminds me of something my mom (a 5th grade teacher) said. "If you ask a high school teacher what they teach they will say 'history,' or 'English.' If you ask an elementary teacher, they will say 'children.'"

  2. Like you, I have much to think about. NECC left me mildly dazed, but mostly validated. We are, as Alice Yucht stated, traveling along the information ocean. And while there are no marked entry or exit points in this ocean (version 2.0!), we are training our students to be proficient swimmers, in any ocean, ours or otherwise.

    It is an uncertain future and we must prepare our students, but after NECC, I truly believe they are in good hands.

    Cross your fingers.
    Pass that budget, PA!