Monday, April 2, 2012

Good intention but poor outcome. How tech tools shouldn't be taught...

So, as I was making my weekly visit on one of my campuses, I kept getting requests for assistance with Blabberize. My first thought, an educator is having their students create a "Blabberize" for one of their learning artifacts. My initial thought was wrong. Booo! She just wanted to make one for herself. Very shortly after, I received more and more requests for support using Blabberize. So, on my next stop I asked, "Did someone recently show you guys Blabberize?" The answer was we have to create one for some ELL training as a homework assignment. 

So thoughts on that. While I do think it's a good idea to expose educators to a variety of tools they can use for learning, I think it's a poor idea to require every educator to produce something using that tool as a homework assignment. For one, the problem is that they are using the tool for teaching purposes and not for learners to use as a creation to demonstrate understanding of a topic. Secondly, by having all educators use the same tool, learners will quickly be bored of the concept when they see the same idea/tool used in each of their classes. I know the intent of exposing them to the tool was good, but the mandatory assignment makes the tool dull and repetitive. Just as we should be differentiating instruction in the classroom, we as adults should also differentiate instruction for adult learners. I love choices! Give adults choices, and they will see the value of giving our learners choices. 
Weigh in your thoughts....Do you think requiring every educator to produce something with the same tool is beneficial or not very productive in means of technology integration?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Want to experience a  professional learning event like no other and collaborate with teachers from around the country? Apply today and share your ideas on how technology is positively impacting education.
The Microsoft Partners in Learning 2012 US Forum is Microsoft’s premier educator recognition program is open to all K-12 educators. The Forum seeks to find and showcase examples of innovation happening in classrooms and schools. It is easy to apply, and if accepted, Microsoft pays expenses for you to come to a unique 2-day professional learning experience that will include project exhibitions, professional development and the ability to collaborate with like-minded colleagues from around the country. Finalists from the US Forum will go on to represent the U.S. at the 2012 Global Forum in Athens, Greece. Learn more and apply:   Deadline to apply  is May 15, 2012.

I can speak from experience as I personally participated in the 2011 Forum. It was an inspiring, life changing opportunity! It allowed me to grow my professional learning network with educators from around the country and reignite my passion for learning.  The forum motivated me to continue to strive to make changes in public education so our learners of today will shape a great tomorrow. Educators aren't often recognized for the hard work they do each and every day, but at this event all educators are truly celebrated. This experience is one I never will forget, and I thank Microsoft for making it happen!