Sunday, October 08, 2006

Technology and Pedagogy - connections, connections

There was a very brief discussion among a few bloggers a while back around the question of what we consider first when using instructional technology: the technology or our pedagogy. At the time, I really had to think about that although I had the sense that pedagogy is the most important starting point and that was confirmed for me again tonight.

I'm getting ready to do a workshop that I titled, "Digital Tools in the Literacy Block" and to prepare I've been going back to two books that have been discussed and used by our staff recently: Strategies That Work by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis and The Daily Five by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser. In both of those books, the authors emphasize helping students to learn strategies for independent learning.

That makes me think about a posting I wrote about teaching for a time when we're not there. These authors are really dealing with the same thing. In both books, the authors discuss research done in the area of the gradual release of responsibility approach - releasing responsibility for learning to the learner with the goal of achieving independence in the use of reading strategies. I find so many connections with that to instructional technology.

The authors of both books advocate that students will learn independence if the teacher models the strategy, thinks aloud while using the strategy and provides students with time to practice using the strategy.

Couldn't we teach Internet Safety, use of blogs and wikis, podcasting, and so many other technology tools and applications using this same pedagogy? Don't we want students to use particular strategies when searching, strategies when blogging, strategies using a word processing application, a graphic organizer application, a presentation application? Shouldn't we be modeling, thinking aloud and giving students time to use these tools?

This workshop will not be about providing teachers with a checklist of items such as websites, software and worksheets that students can do when they read something online. It needs to be as much about the pedagogy as it is about the technology and the strategy for using those tools. I'd better get back to work!

No comments: