When we ponder how, when and why to integrate technology, do we consider how learners might use digital tools as instruments of self-assessment, feedback, and tinkering to learn?
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.
LEARNing: Using technology “differently” was originally posted on May 14, 2012
I think your explanation of your experience is one of the things I love most about working with young learners. They are still such risk takers and are often more open to share their work as they go. When we take these strategies of exploration and editing into the upper grades, we have a better chance of keeping that excitement for teaching and learning alive.
I agree, Brenda! As I learn more about the Standards for Mathematical Practice, I am encouraged to offer variety and opportunity. I seek teachnology tools over technology.