Educational Technology Decision Making
“She walked up to the StarBoard with a banana and just started writing. She said, ‘Let’s say you were doing a health unit. Bring out a banana. Let’s say you were doing a unit on pumpkins. Bring out a pumpkin. You can write on this interactive whiteboard with anything.’ I thought: Kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, I mean even 8th graders would think that was cool.”
Yep. Writing with fruit and gourds. That’s solid pedagogy and clearly 8th graders find writing with bananas to be really “cool.” I’m sure I can find some research to back that up . . .
Bronze Age Orientation The “lessons” in the video are funny because they’re true (I think I’m quoting Homer Simpson)- don’t be a pompous ass (period, but especially not when advocating for a major change) positive version – Be humble. You don’t know everything and your way is not the only way. don’t make change a threat or tie it to a threat (the tribes with the bronze axes will kill you, the kids won’t learn etc.) positive version – Tie the change to positive outcomes for those involved. Focus on how it will improve their life. Why is it worthwhile for them? don’t put down the old ways (and then they’ll throw away your stone axes because they’re rubbish) positive version – Honor the past*. Even if you hate the old way, insulting it will tend to increase resistance to change. In education, the focus should be on adding tools and exploring options rather than in taking them away. The bronze shoes and window are also pretty similar to the “must use twitter based podcasts wikis” in class mentality too often seen in EduBlogosphere Land. Tools are tools and each has its place. This video shows the hypothetical meeting held to discuss changing from stone age technology to bronze age technology. You’ve got the reluctance you normally see (funny but […]
Our county has adopted Exam View Pro for assessments this year. Every middle and high school teacher has been trained on how to use the software, and they were asked to create their exams on it for this first semester. We have been using Exam View’s Test Center as a host for the tests. Tuesday, as (conservatively) 8,000 middle school students and 5,000 high school students tried to access their respective tests, the who system started to, well, crap out. Error messages were flying. My inbox started puking out emails from panic-stricken teachers, and the phone outside my office starting “cooing” at me. Now, I feel I’m a competent troubleshooter, so when I started making rounds to see what was going down, I figured the mantra that I have lived by this year (“Easy Fix”) would come into play as usual. Then I saw the first classroom of computers with database error messages cutting through the screen. They reminded me of many of my misplaced bits of code that sent the blogs I have customized into a tizzy. This mess was totally out of my hands. No “Easy Fix”. Before I let the panic set in as I told the teacher there was nothing I could do, but I would report it to our Technology Department, I remembered something I […]
cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo shared by bionicteaching These two articles have no direct links to education but have some connections in my head. Foie Gras It helps if you understand gavage and how people make foie gras right now. “They’ll eat anything if they think that they’re wild. But that’s the key: they have to think, from the moment they’re born, that they’re just passing through, that they’re not part of this movie,” Read more . . . “If you wanted to raise a baby Rambo, would you want him living rough out in the country or coddled in an intensive-care unit?” Read more . . . and finally Although Haney is intrigued by the idea of raising animals in conditions that replicate the wild, he’s not sure he can make the economics work. Natural nesting means that the birds lay only one set of eggs per year, and for a diversified farm where each animal has to earn its keep, that’s nowhere near enough eggs. Also, he prefers to be scientific in his experimentation, altering only one variable at a time. “Farms change in years,” he says. “Not months.” For now, Stone Barns’ geese will be hatched in incubators. Read more . . . Seems like there’s a lot about our current educational system that […]