Thursday, February 26, 2015

What comes first, the technology or the curriculum

Things have come a long way since my 3rd grade teacher had to thread a film into a movie projector.
Using technology is not a cheap parlor trick where the technology is the trick and the students are amused. Almost all (good) technology measures student progress and some of it happens right in the middle of a lesson with instant feedback. In an article by Elise Ecoff, she talks about this and how technology must enhance the curriculum and not entertain your students with suggestions on how you can make technology work for students at home and in the classroom.



Image result for students using technology in the classroomIt’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time when handing a student a calculator to work through algebraic equations caused many teachers and parents great consternation. It makes you wonder what type of pushback the creators of the abacus faced! In both cases, while the tools students were using may have been more advanced than previous generations’, the goal remained the same – to enhance classroom learning.
But before moving forward with technology integration, every school must first have a great, robust and adaptable academic curriculum. Only then can you begin to find ways in which technology can help to elevate it. It’s important to never force fit technology – if it’s not supplementing what’s already happening in the classroom or a teacher’s goals for the school year, the addition will become more of a barrier to learning than a catalyst.

A Few Questions to Consider

Image result for students using technology in the classroom
  • Regardless of the technology, what’s the most important lesson for students to learn?
  • Why do I need to use technology in my daily curriculum?
  • How are these tech tools enhancing what we’re doing?
  • What will the students do with these tools – during and after class?

Think Curriculum Enhancements, Not Technology Implementations

Even if you feel ready to utilize tech in your classroom, you need to be confident that the implementation will enhance your curriculum, not hinder it.  Here are five ways to ensure you’re putting the curriculum before the technology:

Image result for students using technology in the classroom1) Learn How Students Are Using Technology at Home

It’s important to understand what kind of technology students are already familiar with outside of the classroom.  Ask them what they’re currently using, what they’re interested in learning more about, and how much screen time they’re allowed at home. These conversations will help you determine the opportunities and challenges you’ll face when implementing tech into the classroom. It can also spark inspiration for your in-school tech solutions.  For example, if all your students are familiar with tablets and how they work, you can tweak your lessons plans to more heavily rely on tablet utilization.

http://www.edudemic.com/what-comes-first-the-curriculum-or-technology/