Category Archives: technology

Vol.#14: Technology and the Common Core [2]

In my previous post on technology and its role in the Common Core curriculum a couple of months ago, I described an integrated approach. Tech should be infused in the instruction, while the content is the educational objective. However, upon further reflection I worry that I under-emphasized a seismic shift in this curriculum as it relates to technology. Namely, that Common Core also expressly states technology as part of the curriculum. This is to say, technology IS now an overt educational objective and not merely a by-product.

For example, on page seven of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts document it states:

Students who are College and Career Ready in Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, and Language: “…use technology and digital media strategically and capably. Students employ technology thoughtfully to enhance their reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language use. They tailor their searches online to acquire useful information efficiently, and they integrate what they learn using technology with what they learn offline. They are familiar with the strengths and limitations of various technological tools and mediums and can select and use those best suited to their communication goals.”

This gives a picture of a capable student as one who knows how to acquire and communicate facts, not one who has memorized them. Our children live in a world where they hold the entire sum of man’s knowledge in the palm of their hand. They will (rightly) find a quiz about the dates of World War II rather a waste of time.

Further, Continue reading Vol.#14: Technology and the Common Core [2]


Vol.#12: Social Media @Classroom #Revolution

As I continue my work this week at the North Carolina Department of Instruction with the Kenan Fellows program, I have been presented with the following intriguing question:

“As some districts ban the use of social media in and out of classrooms, and others encourage its use, how do you explain such polar viewpoints?”

Welp, in a nutshell: Continue reading Vol.#12: Social Media @Classroom #Revolution

Vol.#11: Instructional Smackdown

Back in July, I read a wonderful post by Edutopia titled “Ten Ideas for Teaching Teachers :Technology“. In early August, I forwarded it to my colleague Luke Miles who is widely heralded as our school’s resident techie guru. I stated, “I bet we can get Drew to agree to #4.” Continue reading Vol.#11: Instructional Smackdown

Vol.#10: Technology and the Common Core

Considering the significant curriculum changes taking place as a result of the Common Core and NC Essential Standards, do you think that the Common Core or the NC Essential Standards is more likely to positively influence the use of technology for learning or is it another impediment to implementing digital tools? 

The Common Core came about due to the fact that students leaving high school were not college and career ready.* [see below] Therefore, I cannot fathom it is in the spirit of the Common Core to exclude technology, as surely students will need to be technologically literate in college and the careers of the future. Other countries have figured this out; 100% of first graders are learning to code…in Estonia. [source]

I envision the best model for threading technological skills through the Common Core metaphorically like light through a prism. The Common Core is the white light passing through a prism of technology, thereby creating multiple wave-lengths which differentiate for abilities, cultivate 21st century skills, and generate relevance and student-interest.

Technological agnosticism is important, as well. Continue reading Vol.#10: Technology and the Common Core

Vol. #8: Tech Tools are the Power Tools of Education

Last week’s post evidently left some room for further interpretation and discussion. My colleague Paul Cancellieri*, as usual, pushed my thinking deeper. He rightfully noted in a comment to the post that I did not completely and fully answer the question posed by the Kenan Fellows program:

“How we can best use technology to its maximum advantage in education?”

I don’t pretend to have all the answers, and I certainly don’t know more than some* about technology. However, it is my assessment that this question is most powerfully, truthfully, and best answered if it is simply as flipped as some of the cutting-edge classrooms of today:

We can best achieve an educational goal to its maximum attainment by utilizing technology.

This may seem at odds with what I stated in the previous post:

“It is important to remember is that technology is simply a tool. It no more accomplishes an educational goal in and of itself than a pencil and sheet of paper (or a slate and chalk before that.)…”

However, I go on to say:

“Educators’ understanding the right tool for the right task is imperative. A hammer does the plumber fixing the leaky faucet very little good.”

Please allow me to develop this “metaphanalogy” further… Continue reading Vol. #8: Tech Tools are the Power Tools of Education

Vol. #7: Leveraging Technology in Education

Based on your experiences, what are the greatest challenges for leveraging technology to empower learning in your classroom and school?

I have considered the above question at great length. It’s one of my favorite prompts thus far in the Kenan Fellows program blogs, and I wanted to get it right. Like many other Fellows, I thought first about the lack of funding, student access, and teacher training. Then, I read how fellow Kenan Fellow Kellie Perkins started her post with the definition of “leveraging”. One part of the definition caught my attention specifically:

leveraging: to use (something) to its maximum advantage.

So, to rephrase: How can we use technology to its maximum advantage in education?

Continue reading Vol. #7: Leveraging Technology in Education