Monday, February 11, 2008

Defining 5 W's for Technology Learning

Jeff Utecht, in his blog post today talks about "Just in Time Learning." Realizing that there are only so many hours in a day, you just can't know all the tools, even if your role is to provide leadership to teachers in the use of technology. We frequently resort to learning something only as the need arises.

But Jeff brings up a good point: not only do we need to know how to use the tools but we need to know why as well - that's the most important point when it comes to working with teachers and supporting student learning. This point is also made in an article from the Techlearning blog by Ryan Bretag.

As I thought about Jeff's point and read through the article on the Techlearning blog, it just felt to me like there needed to be a little more clear definition put on those "W's", especially when working with teachers who are unaware of the many tools available. It also occurred to me that this might be a great topic for some upcoming professional development opportunities in my district.

So...if we go with the old standard 5 W's (+1) and relate them to using technology to empower learning, here are the questions that I've been brainstorming this morning. By no means perfect, but a start at least - they really all go hand in hand.

Who? Who should know about and use this tool? Who will benefit the most from the use of this tool? Students, other students, teachers, other teachers, the global audience?

What? What is the functionality of this tool? What thinking/process skills does it support?
(communication, collaboration, creativity, research/information fluency, critical thinking)

Where? Where in the curriculum does the use of this tool make the most sense and provide the most support for learning? (state, district, ISTE, AASL, etc.)

When? When would I choose to use this tool instead of something else (including paper and pencil)?

Why? Why should teachers be using this tool in our instruction? Why should students use this tools for their learning?

How? How will my pedagogy support the effective use of this tool? How will my pedagogy need to change in order to use this tool effectively?

Those are my about you?

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