Teach with Innovation and Creativity, not Technology

“Technology will not improve student learning, scores, literacy levels until we change the way we teach through the use of technology” (a summarized quote from @Instructivelnt)

On Friday, I had the opportunity to speak to some Secondary Educators about using social Media in the classroom. In these 45 minute sessions (not enough time!) we were able to invite both @thecleversheep (Rodd Lucier) and @Instructivelnt (William Kierstead) to join us us via Skype.

Paper BloggingWhat came out of this discussion, in both instances, is that you do not need “technology” to be innovative.
Rodd presented us with the idea of teaching social media by addressing the skill of sharing and collaborating. He suggested that this can be done through the use of school bulletin boards. For example, having students replicate their Facebook profiles on posters in the hallway. It is ironic that often the same students who are embarrassed to show their work or profiles in a school hallway, are putting up the same information on the internet. He also presented us with a community bulletin board where students at an Elementary school would write opinion pieces and elicit responses from the school community using sticky notes.

Bill, an innovative leader and passionate educator in New Brunswick spoke about the importance of connecting our students to real world issues and using media and communication tools (video conferencing, Bridget, Skype) to connect students to the world around them. Bill is the brains behind the New Brunswick 21st Century Video which provides examples of students using collaborative methods to track the onset of Spring around the world or use their own classrooms as media news hubs.

blogs to shareOnce again, my twitter feed came through. In one short 140 character tweet, I asked my fellow learners to share their classroom blogs, wikis, and sites. I can’t thank them enough for taking the risk and time to GIVE.

@Sbassteacher
https://sites.google.com/a/lindenschool.ca/room-204/
@ChrisRzazewski “If it helps it’s my 4u English wiki”.
www.eng4u2011.wikispaces.com
@eltbakery
“I’ve just started this one w 14 yr-old” www.donutsnculture.blogspot.com
“Hope it’s helpful! As you might see, I’m still learning =] “
Zoe, I’ve used these 2 last semester with teen groups www.whenthewheelscomedown-q.blogspot.com
www.peaceloveandcultura.blogspot.com
@CWALSHMATH
http://colinwalsh10.blogspot.com/
“You don’t have to ask. You can use mine anytime you’d like”.
@pmcash
My blog has links to the public edmodo pages which have outlines of lessons / assignments, etc. dcvi.typepad.com/mcash
@shannoninottawa
http://thewritingisonthewall.edublogs.org
“other class blogs from my school listed at wejps.net under links – check JK w Ms. Joanne”
@wirededucator
http://t.co/boKlpcn and http://t.co/LfGe6Pw and of course http://t.co/l5zG5CJ
@Txtnlrn
Http://www.TXTNLRN.com
@mathattck
http://bit.ly/e58XuI
@mgmitchell’s class and student blogs

4 thoughts on “Teach with Innovation and Creativity, not Technology

  1. Pingback: Ya, I admit it, it’s fun … « The Spicy Learning Blog

  2. Hi Zoe,
    If I get your meaning correctly the post should be titled “Focus On Innovation and Creativity, not Technology”. The idea is to use all tools at your disposal in innovative and creative ways that engage students in learning. If tech tools do the trick then use them. If paper and pencils do it then use them. I was reading recently about some creative use of cell phones and the internet using a neat tool called Polleverywhere. It lets you set up a poll students can vote on via text message or Twitter. The results are displayed and updated live on the Polleverywhere site. Students don’t have to have a fancy smart phone to take part; they just need one that can do what they love best: text. The point is to use the tools students know, love and engage with to get them engaged in learning.

  3. I really appreciate the comments that we do not need technology to be either innovative or great educators. More often than not teachers say they would be better if they had more technology available. When I remind them of all the great teaching they have been doing for years without the tech they seem embarrassed because they have come to believe that there is some remarkable link between technology use and quality teaching. While it is true that many fantastic examples of teaching are happening with technology, it is how the technology is used and put into the hands of the students that is remarkable. i often recommend Bill Kist’s book The Socially Networked Classroom (http://www.corwin.com/books/Book232987) because it gives clear examples of how teachers can incorporate the technology with almost no technology in the room. Making students aware of the skills needed to successfully integrate technology into their learning and to think about how they use technology can be achieved without the technology. My 11year old son is currently making a Facebook page in gr. 6 Language Arts because his awesome teachers have explained what Facebook is and what it looks like. Even though he does not have Facebook, he now has an understanding of what it looks like, how people use it to communicate, and how to be careful when using social networks. When teachers plan to use technology it must be purposeful, but the lesson can happen with limited technology and still be instructional and beneficial.

  4. Hi Chris, I’ve found some time to read over some comments and I came across yours. I am glad that you too, found time to reflect about innovation and technology and good teaching. I’m going to pick up the book you speak of (thanks for the recommendation). I love that your kid in grade 6 is learning this at school – so very rare really and you are right, sounds like a pretty awesome teacher. I wonder more and more if teachers are not teaching these skills, who will?

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