Teaching with Technology

by | Posted February 15th, 2013

We talk a lot about technology in the classroom, but what about the classroom in technology? Professor Elliot Soloway at the University of Michigan and Professor Chris Dede at Harvard discuss how to transition a lesson plan into the digital age.

Young students using iPads.

Image via Flickr

“I’ve never seen technology moving faster than mobile learning,” said Dede, who teaches at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Between developing applications and having answers at the touch of a finger through the internet, kids are learning in a faster-paced environment than ever before. Teaching pedagogies need to adapt with this shift as well; for example, they discuss how using flash cards, staples of older lesson plans, for an iPad is a waste.

“We are not exploiting the affordances of the new technology to give kids new kinds of learn-by-doing activities,” says Soloway. Using tools like tablets in the classroom are viewed as something kids can do when they’re done with their actual class work. Shelly Pasnik, director of the Center for Children and Technology counteracts this idea.

“When it’s really integrated into a sequence of activities, kids are moving between screens given what’s developmentally appropriate, they’re playing games. Some experiences use screens, then manipulatives or other materials, they’re engaged in conversations with peers and adults in the room. That’s where it works,” says Pasnik.

Resources like iPads, tablets, and laptops have the ability to make learning a multimedia, engaging, and interactive experience, but only if they are integrated into a new teaching style.