By guest blogger Leanne Link, communications assistant at the Center for Teaching Quality
This month's Roundtable participants shared how new technologies are affecting teaching and learning in their classrooms. While most of the teachers celebrated technology's ability to promote efficiency and creativity, many also stressed the importance of exercising caution through thoughtful and deliberate technology integration.
If you're just checking into the conversation now, below is a recap of some of the teachers' reflections:
• A Real-World Example: Nancy Gardner shows us what it looks like when all students in a school do have access to technology.
• Role Reversals: Students often have more experience with technological tools than their teachers. As Jennie Magiera observes, students are "motivated to problem solve using these devices, and many are more adept at doing so than their adult counterparts."
• Increased Engagement: Technology allows students to connect with one another, with teachers, and with people and resources beyond school walls. Such interaction helps students stay engaged with the material, Marsha Ratzel and Nancy Gardner each note.
• Differentiated Learning: Students can use technology in ways that best suit their individual needs and interests, writes Robert Pronovost.
• Improvement, not Reinvention: Bill Ferriter and Joel Malley each point out that technology shouldn't be expected to introduce new behaviors. Rather, it allows teachers to carry out tried and true methods more efficiently and to the benefit of student learning.
• Beyond Tech Support: Jennie Magiera, Marsha Ratzel, and Karl Ochsner advocate for professional development that focuses less on how to operate the tools themselves and more on how teachers can use the tools to help students learn.
• Skills That Matter: Consistent use of technology helps students practice vital skills, such as digital storytelling and multimedia creation, that will help them thrive in the 21st century, say Nancy Gardner and Karl Ochsner.