Monday, June 1, 2015

It's not actually about ICT...

For the past 18 months, I've been teaching a course called 'Learning with Technology' to pre-service teachers. There are many ideas that I have included in the course (quite possible too many for one semester!), but the big message that I hope they all get is that I'd really like to see a day when this course didn't have to exist at all.

You see, as soon as you start talking about ICT (technology) on its own, people immediately focus on the gadgets and the apps and the games and all those things. But what ICT should be is invisible.
Invisible MacBook Pro by Mark Norman Francis via Flickr (CC BY NC)
The first thing that you notice when you walk into a classroom shouldn't be the fancy iPads or Chromebooks or whatever, it should be the kids. Engaged. Motivated. Learning.
Sure, that seems to happen more often when ICT is used (and I will explore this in further posts), but the ICT is not the reason. It's just the tool. Good teaching, good planning and relevant content is more likely to be the reason.

I tell my students that they should always start with the learning. I like the questions that we used to use to frame our planning around the Quality Teaching Model (whatever happened to that?!):

  • What do you want the students to learn?
  • Why does that learning matter? 
  • What are you going to get the students to do (or produce)?
  • How well do you expect them to do it?
And shouldn't that be the question we're always asking? Not 'how will they use these iPads?'; or 'how could they use this game'? 

Something for us all to think about...

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