A blog about technology, trends and learning

Integrating technology by using the TPAC model

October 21, 2013 · No Comments · Integrating technology, Teaching and Learning

Many teachers new to integrating technology into their classroom come to me with the question, “I am really excited to use technology in the classroom, how can I do it?” Well, this in itself, is pretty general question so I usually respond, “tell me about what you are doing in your classroom”

There is no point in using technology for the sake of using technology. That would be equivalent to getting out a hammer and simply banging away at nails without a clear goal.   It must be used purposely and through an authentic context. In other words, start with the end in mind. What are the specific learning goals you would like students to reach? With this in mind, we can then think about selecting the appropriate tool.

The TPAC model is a nice way to combine content, pedagogy and technology. Here’s a great video that summarizes it:

So the main point is, you need to balance technology carefully with pedagogy and content to find the “sweet spot” in learning.

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More Connected but Disconnected than Ever?

September 3, 2013 · No Comments · Integrating technology

I recently came across this video. A powerful message sits in it and for me, it resonated with some of the issues I have been noticing with technology.

As an advocate on the benefits of technology, I also feel that I need to balance this out with some of the disadvantages of technology. One that I certainly have noticed in the last 5 years or so is how many people opt to engage in virtual worlds rather than real-world experiences (I am guilty of this too). Let’s face it, with the lures of Facebook, games, emails, texts all at the tip of your fingers, it is all too easy to disengage in those few fleeting seconds of boredom. This comes at a price however. We are robbing ourselves and our loved ones of connecting with each other in real-life. All those special moments in your life with your friends or family that allow you to look back and smile.

As an educator, I am a big believe in developing social skills within the classroom. Yes technology has a place and can be a valuable tool but it certainly shouldn’t be used all the time. I recently was working with a teacher who used laptops constantly in class to the point that she didn’t know what to do with a new student who wouldn’t have a laptop for a week. Are we becoming too dependent on technology? I just never thought that part of my job as an IT Coach would be to convince teachers to use technology less in the classroom.

My message is simple, yes we need to use technology effectively in our lives but it certainly doesn’t mean use technology constantly. ¬†Build time in the day for your students or family to unplug and connect with each other and build meaningful relationships and enjoy real-world interactions.

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