In a previous post I talked about the misconception that some have about HSE21 being all about the device. Just a reminder here – IT’S NOT! Technology can allow us to do some really cool things, it can help us be more efficient, we can collaborate more easily, you can create and carry out awesome formative assessments, and you can use technology to help you grade papers more quickly. There are many more things that technology can help us with, but there are also times it gets in the way. Remember that the HSE21 best practice model is about so much more than an iPad. It’s also important to remember that just because you are using an iPad for an activity, it doesn’t mean you are “doing” HSE21.
Sometimes an app doesn’t work the way we expect it to. Sometimes wifi issues prevent our students from being able to access what we need them to get to. If you’re using a computer in the lab, the amount of time it takes for a student to log in can take away from their ability to be productive.
Ultimately, our pedagogy must drive our technology, not the other way around. Good teaching will always trump a good tool. Someone could put me in a wood shop with every imaginable tool, but without the knowledge of how to use those tools, anything I built would not be something I would want to put into my room (except maybe in the back corner of the garage!).
You all know that I love technology. I consider myself an early adopter of most types of technology, quick to try things out to see if it can fit into my life. Anymore I can’t go for a run, bike ride, or sometimes even a walk, without my GPS enabled device to tell me how far I went, what my average heart rate was, and the average speed or pace I was traveling. However, when we look at the classroom, learning has to be the focus. While I would love to see a classroom where everything is being done digitally, sometimes due to challenges that method is not efficient. There is nothing wrong with an exit slip that is actually on paper, or a quick formative assessment of thumbs up or down. Don’t be afraid to try to integrate tech where it works, but don’t do it at the sacrifice of helping our students to learn and grow into the best they can be.
What are some times you have chosen to ditch your tech and had a positive outcome? Share a few of your experiences in the comment section below!