It should be “Redefining technology”, but perhaps we as teachers have just seen it as a way to take technology and use it to somehow update the teaching. What about if it were to update how the student learns instead?
According to Ruben Puentedura, “redefinition” of a lesson using technology will allow students to interact with the content in a much deeper level from the start. As I understand, it uses technology to help students create new meaning and understanding, deepening the connection to the content and allowing them to explore more and develop their own knowledge. (See his SAMR model here)
I have yet to witness a lesson that has taken technology integration to this level.
One lesson I have seen and participated in was a “modification” lesson. Normally, students in language arts classes are asked to read materials and checks the comprehension of the material through various activities, such as answering questions, or composing written reflections about the topic. In this lesson, students were using an online tool from Achieve3000, a differentiated learning tool. This particular program allows students to choose an article or topic they are interested in, read the article and then has follow-up activities. These activities for this lesson on developing their reading comprehension were an opinion poll that was rating opinions of users worldwide reading that specific article, comprehension questions in a multiple choice and short answer format, and a chance to write a longer reflection creating a personal connection with them.
This was a modification lesson because it took something students would have done before, perhaps in a newspaper or magazine or section of a book, and adapted it with technology. It was interesting for them to see the opinions of students around the world, however, it didn’t actually ask them to create new meaning for themselves using the technology.
Why isn’t this happening more? I think that we have not yet come to the point where we see the potential of connectivity in the classroom. Perhaps we have some collaborative projects happening in Google docs for example, that allow for real-time collaboration and feedback; however, overall I still see myself using technology simply in modification of my lessons. Is there inspiration to search and make those connections – yes! One foot in front of the next.