Thursday, 4 September 2014

Moving beyond the $500 pencil

A lot of the schools I work with have heard me talk about $500 pencils; what is the point in spending $500 (or more) on a digital device if we are just using it as a pencil? (One of my friends has called her son's iPad Mini the most expensive dictionary she ever purchased!)

Far from just learning how to use 'the tool', schools nowadays need to look at how they are using digital technologies to support learning and teaching. I keep on coming back to the Golden Circle: 

To implement the school vision, teachers apply effective pedagogy. With new research on learning and the needs of our students, our ideas of effective pedagogy keep on morphing (I can thoroughly recommend reading Supporting future-oriented learning and teaching, also available as NZC Update 26, which identifies 6 themes: Personalising learning, Rethinking learners' and teachers' roles, A culture of continuous learning for teachers and educational leaders, New views of equity and diversity, A curriculum that uses knowledge to develop learning capacity, and New kinds of partnerships and relationships.)

While all these ideas are very important, many teachers are looking for hands-on examples of what this means in the classroom. How do I make sure that I provide opportunities in my classroom for students to use their digital devices beyond a pencil?

For some time I have been using the SAMR model to explain to teachers how they can augment, modify and redefine learning in their classroom with digital devices:
Image Source
Lately I have moved to a different model, introduced to our team by our lovely colleague +Esther Casey :

How have you or will you move beyond using digital devices as $500 pencil in your learning and teaching?

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