Monday, February 20, 2012

Technology and Partnering

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Reading Prensky book, Teaching Digital Natives, has certainly opened my eyes to the direction classrooms are taking. It has also made me aware that in my own classroom I am not even close to accomplishing this.  The first few chapters of his book talk about moving toward the Partnering Pedagogy and how to reach this point. One of the eye opening topics he writes about is making your subject real not just relevant to the students. To accomplish this it’s important to know your students and their passions so we as teachers can relate our subjects to their lives. Just because I am passionate about history does not mean my students are (and especially with history they are not) so I have to figure out a way to make it real for them. This is really where I am struggling. With 160 students how am I suppose to know their passions?

To make history meaningful (or whichever subject you teach), Prensky suggest asking the students- “How do you want to learn this information? Help me create a lesson that will reach you.” To me handing over my “power” in that area is terrifying. But there are so many resources available to our students and they have much more knowledge in some areas then I do, it’s a shame not to allow myself to learn from them as well.
One resource available to the students I have include technology. I know not every school or districts are as fortunate as we are- so using technology to teach may be more difficult. Technology is definitely an area where my students could teach me a few things.  I like the comment Prensky makes, “Teachers need to know what technologies are available, not necessarily how to use it. Regardless, of what technology you have available you should allow your students to utilize it. That being said it’s also important to not use technology just for the sake of using technology.  My understanding of the role of the teacher in regards to using technology in your class are as follows: 1) Point out to the students what is available, 2) monitor while the students work, 3) encourage students to use different technologies, and 4) point out the pitfalls and mistakes made by students (such as reliable and unreliable sites). 

I am hoping to start my journey to creating a technology enriched classroom with the idea of the partnering pedagogy. I am anxious to learn my student’s passions and how they want to learn and apply that to my class room…. We will see how successful I am. 

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