On Sept. 24, I went to the Oregon Technology in Education Network (OTEN) Conference. Here are some reflections from the event.
There are so many ways to use technology in the classroom. The exciting thing is, if used correctly, it can help improve students' knowledge, as well as test scores, as the Joe Morelock proved with data from Canby School District. It's important, though, to realize that technology is not the answer to all of life's problems, nor will it automatically make our children learn more. But it can help, because it builds a bridge between the students' life outside of the classroom, which is filled with technology, and the world of learning inside the classroom.
Since technology is changing so quickly, I appreciated what Morelock had to say about planning ahead: you can't. You have to live in today and work with what you have, and worry about tomorrow's changing world tomorrow.
When we work with technology, it is just as important to teach our students how to learn about technology as it is to teach them how to work with technology. That's where critical thinking and communicative skills come in that Jennifer Roberts talked about at her session. If we teach our students how to think, they'll be better prepared to deal with innovations in the future than if we just teach them discrete facts.
Many computer programs today are very flexible in their application to the classroom. For one such example, from the session given by Al Weiss, check out the following podcast.