LEARNing: Using technology “differently” (#1)

Last week I was “schooled” in using technology by a first grader.  She was invited to write for edu180atl.  Her post was published on 5.2.12.  To draft her post, we selected two pictures to use as inspiration.  She wrote a story for each picture and selected one for submission.  HOW she used technology to write was a HUGE lesson for me.

She took my computer from me and wrote 3 sentences.  There was a word that had a red “crinkly” line under it.

 

The instant feedback transitioned the technology to teachnology; it caused her to ask herself questions.  Finally, she asked me how to spell inspired.  Then, she read her 3 sentences out loud and decided that she needed another sentence in between two of the current sentences.  (Do I do that when I write?)

She was determined to have 200 words, not 198 words or 205 words.  She wanted 200 words exactly.  She learned how to use the word count feature since both stories were in the same document.  She read out loud and deleted words.  She read out loud again and added words.  It was awesome to watch.  She chose to ask to have a “peer” editor.  “Are there 2 words that I can delete? I want exactly 200 words.”  How much more confidence would I have about my writing if I had published articles and ideas when I was younger?

This experience with my first grader makes me wonder about learning – well, anything – with technology.  What assumptions do we make about what learners will and won’t learn if we put technology in their hands?

“How can we focus on what we do best without missing new opportunities to do better?” (Davidson, 17 pag.)

_________________________

Davidson, Cathy N. “I’ll Count-You Take Care of the Gorilla.” Introduction. Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn. New York: Viking, 2011. 17. Print.

2 thoughts on “LEARNing: Using technology “differently” (#1)”

  1. I LOVE that story! As a language teacher, it is hard to find a balance between having kids demonstrate the language skills they have vs. using the resources that are realistically available and will certainly be used “in real life” outside of the academic world (Word’s spell/grammar check, Google translator, etc.). I think we need to do a better job of incorporating existing tools and technology into our courses rather than always trying to fight against them. These tools exist for a reason, and people use them. For my final portfolios in class, I decided to let students use spell and grammar check and online dictionaries, which is a step in the right direction, I believe. However, they were not allowed to use Google translator or get help from native speakers. My challenge as a language teacher would be to design assessments that incorporate these real-life resources.

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