First of all, I have a bit of a confession. When I started on Twitter again almost 2 years ago, I didn’t deeply understand when I read, “It’s not about the technology.” Yes, I understood it on a surface level, and nodded in agreement whenever I heard those words. But, I didn’t really deeply understand.
Fast forward almost 2 years and I am beginning to get it. I say beginning because, really, I am not sure if one can really understand the depths of this new ever-changing, ever-evolving learning environment. Just when we think we “figure” one thing out, something changes (similar to how I feel about raising my children, I might add).
So, this is my take on it….
It is not about technology at all. It is all about pedagogy.
The battle of the OGY’s – technol-OGY and pedag-OGY.
No technology in the world will truly change the way you teach, unless you, first of all, change the way you think about teaching and learning and change what you value in the learning environment (note: I said environment and not “classroom” on purpose – it’s not about the classroom anymore. Learning is everywhere.)
Technology is here (and here to stay, I might add) and can truly transform the way we our students learn, the way they take ownership over their learning, the engagement of our students, and the way our students make connections with the world around them. It can truly make a difference, however, pedagogy must come first.
According to the Collin’s Online English Dictionary, Pedagogy is defined as “the principles, practice, or profession of teaching”.
To truly make a difference in our teaching, our way of reaching our students, we must continue to reflect on and develop our pedagogy. Our pedagogy must change and evolve with our students and with the times.
We must first understand the importance of student choice, the power of students choosing how they are going to learn and what they are going to learn. We must see how students can and should be representing their learning in a variety of a ways – their ways (not our ways). We must understand the power behind giving students choice in how they will demonstrate their learning. When you have some of that figured out, it is important to truly see how powerful, meaningful and motivational it is for students to choose what they are going to learn about. It is then when you will see your “unmotivated” students become your “star” learners in your classroom.
Once one has figured out that learning should be focused on the student and not directed by the teacher, that is when technology can truly make a difference.
Once one understands that learning goes far beyond the walls of the classroom, that’s when technology can transform the way your students learn.
Once one starts to have students take ownership over their own learning, that’s when technology can help support their goals and objectives.
Time and time again, I’ve heard that “technology should be used to do things you’ve never been able to do before”.
If you are using technology to do research or something else that you would be able to do without it, why are you using it? Looking critically at your practise means letting go of the methods that do not fully engage ALL students, instead of throwing technology into an old, tired pedagogy that doesn’t meet everyone’s needs.
I am starting to get it.