Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fighting Another Curriculum or Maybe Not

My school district has been working on creating curriculum documents, using them and making revisions for the last four years. We've made some great progress and some good (though sometimes overwhelming) changes have happened. Conversations about technology in the classroom focus on learning goals rather than cool tools.

Because we've spent so much time on the academic curriculum and because so many changes have happened based on this effort, I've not been an advocate of even creating a technology curriculum. Until tonight...

While relaxing and enjoying a little downtime tonight, I came across something on Doug Johnsons' blog that was actually written in January, 2006. He refers to adopting a philosophy of "AND not OR." My focus has been on technology curriculum or no technology curriculum. I've advocated for NO technology curriculum because of all the other things that are currently pressuring our classroom teachers and because my fear was that a technology curriculum would cause us to just simply teach technology for technology's sake and not for the sake of learning. But Doug has reminded me that this doesn't really need to be an "or" situation at all.

Here's what I'm thinking: let's create a technology curriculum but let's write it as something more than just a laundry list of skills that should be accomplished by the end of some particular grade level - the revised NETS comes to mind as a start. Then let's take that curriculum and view our academic curricula through that lens. Perhaps with the addition of a technology curriculum we could really begin to make some headway with technology for learning supported by some more frequent training opportunities for teachers. Many of our teachers are doing good things with technology in our classrooms, some are still dabbling, while others are begging for the opportunity to have the time and the training that would help them move forward. The time is right to think about technology AND!

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