IMMOOC: Technology to Empower
This post is part of my journey in the fourth season of the Innovator’s Mindset #IMMOOC with George Couros. This week, we were challenged to respond to this question: Why do you believe that schools needs to change, and what are the opportunities that lay in front of us?
I love technology.
I spend hours on Twitter. I love formatting Google Docs (yes, I know). I love making designs on Google Drawings or Canva.
In my graduate class last semester, my professor loaned me a copy of Catlin Tucker’s Blended Learning book. #LOVE.
But learning technology is deeper than the latest app or online tool. S/O to @AliceKeeler who preaches this from her mountain of followers on Twitter.
I loathe this problem that we face on the daily in our classrooms: “One-to-one technology ratios woo students and impress the administration and teachers at neighboring schools. Inside too many of these tech-equipped schools are many uninspired students who believe traditional education is irrelevant” (“Innovator’s Mindset,” p. 3).
I don’t know the magic answer to solve this problem. I think some of it has to do with engagement, part of it might be our (sad) push to “digitize” worksheets, but most of it has to do with the fear-driven conditioning that we have subjected students to since kindergarten when they get their first device.
Technology introduced me to John Spencer’s YouTube channel. I went down the YouTube rabbit hole one day just watching all of the awesome animated videos that he has created. Technology can help us deliver content to students in a creative, engaging and beautiful way.
Technology is an incredible tool for creating. But technology is also one of the best tools to amplify our voice -- that includes the voices of our students.
Trust me, I wrestle daily with the games. I hate taking away technology. But I believe, that we have to teach, model, and give a ton of grace until students learn the power of technology and that it is not just a toy (#firstyearteacheridealism).
I am incredibly blessed to be able to work with and support an organization called #ICANHELP. Kim Karr and Matt Soeth both preach about student empowerment across the country. What’s their message?
Students can make a difference because they have a voice and can take action.
I’ve never heard Kim or Matt rely on fear to scare students away from social media. Are they honest? Yes. They are very real about the fact that bad decisions can impact your future. But they spend so much time breaking down the “stay off social media” walls (trust me, those are solid, reinforced concrete walls) and introducing them to the “you can help change this” pasture.
“We are spending so much time telling our students about what they can’t do that we have lost focus on what we can do” (“Innovator’s Mindset,” p. 7).
I’ll leave you with this thought: how can education empower students with technology?
Image from Unsplash.