Sunday, November 6, 2016

Role of Tech in Ed: Consideration #1

Innovative educators know how to move technology from being viewed as a weapon of mass distraction to being used as a tool of engagement, but this isn’t intuitive for everyone. Tech is a powerful teaching and learning tool that has the ability to transform education. Not sure how to begin?

Start with these ideas of ways to use technology to support teaching and learning.

Technology can changes the role of the teacher in meaningful ways. When we no longer need to rely on the teacher as the sole source provider of knowledge instruction becomes more personalized to ability and customized to learning styles.  More one on one and small group instruction can take place. There is more time for getting to know each student and build relationships.

save imageOne of the most powerful uses of tech for learning is that it enables students to connect with a network of other peers and experts who share their interests. In the 21st century the old rules about strangers no longer apply. Today we want our students to meet strangers on the internet.

Steve Jobs said it well when he shared in this video that for the most part, those who don’t get what they want have never bothered to ask. He explains that young people have an advantage when asking adults for support and tells the story of himself picking up the phone at 12 years old and calling Bill Hewlett (of Hewlett Packard). At the time, his number was in the phone book. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other social platforms are the phonebooks of today’s students and provide one of the most powerful tools for learning. The teacher supports this learning by ensuring students are equipped to safely, effectively, and responsibly reach out to these strangers to develop that network.

This is part of a series in my conversation with author and professor Liz Kolb, who is teaching a course at the University of Michigan that addresses ways technology supports modern teaching and learning. Stay tuned on The Innovative Educator blog for the additional considerations in future posts. For a recap of all ten considerations visit

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