Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Teaching in the 21st Century: Digital Media

How do we use technology to change (improve?) teaching and learning?  First, we must recognize that our students are social and learn collaboratively.  They are used to creating content online, not just consuming content.  How do we use this to our advantage in the classroom?  And more importantly how do we focus on the content and not the technology?  The technology should be invisible.

A few summers ago I had an opportunity to attend a workshop by Sara Kajder and she always put the majority of the instruction on the content/product and let students figure out the technology to get there.  For example, if students are creating a digital story.  They spend 3-5 days drafting and creating their story.  They spend one day finding the images and creating the final digital product.  That way the focus is on process, not product.

This video was quite interesting:

I want to allow options for students to work together and share their thinking and learning while using technology – to be producers of content.  Maybe this is a wiki, or a blog, or a podcast…it could work with practically any technology.  I just want the focus to be on collaborating and sharing their learning.  By working together, individual expertise becomes collective expertise through interaction with peers and/or community members.  Digital media allows guided, real-time experiences like location/placed-based learning.

“Digital media is changing the ecology of reading and writing.” – James Gee

What are some ways you do this in your classroom?

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