Slaughter's Tech Moment

METC Thoughts and Shares

"Classrooms don't need tech geeks who can teach; we need teaching geeks who can use tech." -David Guerin

World Without Teachers

Technology itself is not the answer, great teaching with technology is the solution.

Have you ever been asked a question and it takes you back a second? Those are questions that should occur in the classroom. Questions that are Non-Googleable, questions that make you reflect, apply, and let me just say it, think.

Great learning does not take place through technology but happens with communication and discussion in the classroom. Where technology comes in is that it allows for deeper communication through the creation of putting those thoughts into collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking. It also allows students that are more introverted to communicate in a way that would be very hard in a vocal way. Technology brings students an audience from all over the world, which means they have a chance to see the world outside their little section of the world.

Imagine the possibilities!

I was at METC, and a teacher was sharing a project that brought the point home. This teacher had created a solar oven with his students in the past, but he wanted to make it more real for these students. He asked himself, what if they were solving a real problem and what if they could see real people that could be affected by this?

He partnered with a nearby school through Google Hangouts and reached out to a small school in Ghana and began the task of creating a solar oven and comparing the results with the other two groups as they created their version. They worked through the scientific method, compared data, crunched numbers and crunched the other teams numbers. They began talking about why they were getting different results. What variables were different? They were using the four C's in a big way.

What I took away from this meeting was that the teacher didn't have to alter his curricular plans. He was going to make a solar oven with his class no matter what, but he reimagined his lesson and created something that took those students into a deeper level of cognitive thinking.

My question is, what can we do with our lessons to take them to that level?

Some Things to Think About

Don't fall in love with the problems!

As many of you already know, I have been reading Building School 2.0, and it has opened my eyes. This week at METC, I heard things that correlated and reverberated the things that I have been thinking on as of lately. One point that has stood out to me is the admiration of the problems.

When you are in a meeting, take a minute occasionally to take notice of the discussion mood, see if it ideas are moving forward or are people just admiring the problems. It is very easy to get caught up in all of the issues that are present that make change impossible.

Spend some time reflecting not on the issues that are present, but on what vision you have for your students and school. Take note of those ideas and be open to sharing the vision. Remember that when meeting with a group of individuals that we all have our set of hopes and desires that are not entirely wrong, but may not be entirely right for everyone. Be open to other people's ideas and see what kind of impossible made possible that we can mix up.

Get Connected- Become a Tweep

I have been focusing in the recent months on my PLN- Personal Learning Network (partly due to a suggestion from a great mentor). We become better educators when we bring new knowledge into our pedagogy.

If you have been hesitant to get on the Twitter bandwagon, I suggest that you give it another shot. The key to getting something out of Twitter is to look at it as an entirely different machine from Facebook. Search out educators and people that share your vision, challenge your thinking, or simply are doing fantastic things and you want to cyber-stalk them (lol).