Will makes the comment:
We have to stop focusing on what teachers are doing with technology and start focusing on how they are learning with it.
I had to think about it for awhile, but I think I understand what he is saying: Using technology isn’t enough. It isn’t.
I use technology a fair amount in my classes. We use Moodle; we access the internet and do different kinds of activities; we make presentations using PowerPoint or Movie Maker. We have blogged and will again. We listen to audio online. But all that begs the question, “So what?”
As a teacher, I know that I have learned a great deal from technology. My blog and the blogs of others, as I have said before, provide me with some of the best professional development I have ever had. In using Moodle, I have had to think a lot about teaching and learning. I have struggled with deciding what should be done online and what should be done face to face in the classroom. I have reflected on my own teaching and on teaching and learning in general.
But I must also ask the question with regard to my students. What have they learned? Have they captured the spirit of the technological endeavors? Sometimes I think they have, but other times I think it is just something they go through the motions on — like an interactive worksheet of some kind.
I took an online course this past semester, my second. This one was great; there was lots of good discussion and lots of opportunities for us to learn from each other. Do I provide that those kinds of opportunities for my students? If I provide the opportunities, do my students recognize and take advantage of them?
I still have a lot to think about and a lot to learn.