moving curriculum into the 21st century
My love of technology most likely stems from my love of science fiction. In the early 90s I would watch Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes and envy the PADDs the characters carried around. They would use these tablets for reading reports, voice recording their daily logs, and recording the health status of patients in sickbay (often using a stylus).
Only 20 years later, I have my very own iPad. I find that my iPad allows me to do many of the same things that were made so glamorous by Data and Jean-Luc Picard. I can read reports, novels, poetry, ebooks, and communications. I can create journal entries and presentations. I can watch a video clip of a Klingon opera, Kahless, the Unforgettable, or learn how to make the perfect soufflé. I can voice record my daily musings. There are even voice recognition apps that can convert my spoken words to text. I can calculate my Body Mass Index (BMI) and monitor my heart rate. I can write in many apps using my finger or using a stylus (but I don’t yet own one).
I, for one, am so pleased that this is happening during my lifetime and not some some distant future. It is an amazing time to be a lifelong learner! Gene Roddenberry was so ahead of his time and, thankfully, Steve Jobs and co. were able to make it happen.
So, suppose knowledge is not the goal of education. Rather, suppose today’s content knowledge is an offshoot of successful ongoing learning in a changing world – in which ‘learning’ means ‘learning to perform in the world.’
Google Docs rock!
Ask a Tech Teacher is the blog of Jacqui Murray, a K – 8 technology teacher who blogs about “integrating technology into your curriculum.” Her blog offers tips, lesson plans, and reviews. She also offers the opportunity to look into her class wikis and class blogs.
Learning to Question to Wonder to Learn, by Jamie McKenzie, Ed.D., is an excellent resource on understanding the power of questioning in the classroom. This book “shows how teachers can equip [students] with the questioning strategies that will prepare them to wrestle with the most difficult decisions and problems.”The introduction, chapter 1: Why Question?, and chapter 2: Why Wonder? can be found/read online. The author’s website, The Question Mark, is also a great resource to support questioning to take us all beyond simply thinking.
There is plenty of thinking that never achieves lift-off, never contributes to understanding and never casts light on issues of importance. Much thinking beats around the bush, wanders off course and fails to inform or illuminate.