It is important, that we, as teachers, support one another in this process; a process that can be intimidating to so many. In order to build a base…a foundation…that allows for the integration and application of high-quality, challenging, high-motivating, and effective technology resources, we need to become aware of what these tools and resources are…we need to learn how to use them (by attending workshops, professional development conferences, research, online tutorials, etc.) AND we need to take that scary step that propels us into a world where students are no longer passive receptors of information…a world where students can do so much more.
When students are using technology as a tool or a support system for learning and communicating with others, they are in an ACTIVE role rather than the passive role of recipient of information that has been traditionally transmitted by a teacher and/or textbook. Once we provide students with the opportunity to use technology they are able to actively make choices about how to generate, obtain, manipulate, or display information. Technology use allows students to be actively and critically thinking about information and about making choices, more so than in a typical teacher-led lesson.
But like I said previously, this can be a scary step. Why? Because it means that our roles as teachers must change. Rather than simply dispensing information, we fulfill the role of facilitator. We set project goals, provide guidelines and resources, and offer support and suggestions. But students are taking the driver’s seat.
The realm of teaching is changing and evolving at an extraordinary rate. Pretty crazy.
The following picture was taken in a classroom in Ethiopia. They have began an initiative called One Laptop Per Child (OLPC). Very cool.
Image from wiki.laptop.org