DT&L Bytes

Digital Teaching and Learning @PCHS │ April 23, 2018

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Technology, Balance, and Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

The use of technology in general is receiving a lot of bad press focused on the amount of screen time. Before jumping on the bandwagon, let’s take a moment to reflect on the positive possibilities.


I stumbled across an article by Jackie Gerstein, an educator and Teach Thought staff writer, called “How Technology Can Address Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.” I’ve spent a lot of time talking and sharing how digital resources can help students move from consumers to creators, but not thinking about how technology can help with the whole child.


In this article, Jackie breaks down Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs and describes how technology can support needs at each of the levels, except the physiological. She shares how technology can be used to improve self-esteem; to educate and practice digital citizenship and online safety; bring about a feeling of community; enable independence, self-reflection and responsibility; and help students learn how to learn and own their learning.


Of course, “with great power comes great responsibility.” That means that teachers need to be intentional and purposeful with their use of technology in the classroom. Technology is not meant to replace the teacher or replace face-to-face interactions. Technology is meant to support instruction. The pedagogy come first, then the technology. Technology can, however, be the means that allows students to dive deeper into the material and demonstrate what they know in different ways. Jackie says that “we are no longer gatekeepers of knowledge.” Students can Google facts faster than we can impart them. We need to be there guiding them through the sea of information and helping them to ask the critical questions surrounding that information.


There is a time and place for technology. It’s not all of the time, but tech does have a place in this world. Balance is important. How much time is spent in front of a screen needs to be measured with the age of the individual, type of activity, purpose of the activity, and the general amount of time in front of all screens. Screens include television, video games, computer games, computers, tablets and phones. The American Academy of Pediatrics has a number of resources aimed at helping parents weigh through these waters. One great resource is the Family Digital Media plan. Take a look at the suggestions for children at various ages. Create your own Family Digital Media plan. Let’s work together to model and teach our students about balance, responsibility and digital citizenship when using technology.


“I believe that technology has given us the power, tools, and means to teach in qualitatively different ways that we did in the 20th century.” (Gerstein)


Jackie Gerstein, “How Technology Can Address Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs


American Academy of Pediatrics Information


What's Appening

Google Forms. I never get tired talking about the possibilities with Google Forms. I recently came across an article highlighting 25 different ways to use Google Forms in the classroom - with examples! Here are some of my favorites:

  • reading quiz
  • Image-based quiz
  • bell-ringer activity
  • meeting agenda generator
  • rubric
  • engagement tracker
  • parent contact tracker

Check it out!

Which Digital Tools are You Using?

We've had a lot of freedom at Pine Creek regarding the tools we choose to use. We'd like to continue having you, the experts, continue to be the ones choosing the tools your students use. That's why we are asking you to partner with us.


Partner with us and help us ensure your tools for classes, teams, clubs and activities are approved and ready for to use when you need them. PLAN AHEAD. Visit Pine Creek's Resource List; it includes the resources submitted by you. Don't see the one you'd like to use? Visit the District database. Still don't see your resource? Fill out the Digital Tool Application and we'll get it submitted to District IT for approval. Once the tool is approved, we'll update our list and inform you. This process takes time, especially if a purchase needs to be made.


Please be patient with us and the District as we embark on this new process. The District database is continually being updated as is our own resource list. Our goal is to ensure you have the resources you need while protecting our students' privacy.


Have questions? Contact anyone of your Digital Resource Team members, Susan, Sasha or Steve.

What can your Digital Learning Coach do for you?

  • Share with you what tools we have available to you and your students
  • Show you how to use the tools we have
  • Push out course-specific apps to you and your students
  • Co-teach with you so that you can focus on the content and I can focus on the tool and any digital issues
  • Trouble-shoot issues, iPad and Desktop
  • Share our Vision and what it means as we travel down the road towards making that it real
  • Help you plan and reflect on lessons using digital tools
  • Provide Digital Citizenship tips and resources


I'm here to serve you!