I am currently working towards achieving the highest level of technology in teaching recognition that my employer (Education Queensland) awards. Known as the ‘Digital Pedagogy License, Advanced’, it forms part of the worlds best practice in this area ‘Smart Classrooms framework‘. The main thrust of the preparation work I am doing for the license is not about sounding off about learning theories, or naming the tools I use, but about real, practical ways that I believe and KNOW technology is improving and transforming my ability to lead learning. Its also been designed as an incredibly and deliberately self-reflective process, and I will over the next couple of months share some of my thoughts and the drafts of the different sections I am compiling. Here’s the first – Enjoy!
(excerpt from a draft of my belief statement)
I believe that ICT, while an essential component of schooling students for life in a digital world, is not as important as the learner themselves. Thus any learning experience must start with where the learner is, and be based on a relationship that both challenges and makes a student feel safe.
I believe that ICT exists to serve learning. Thus rather than teaching ICT for its own sake, ie. where students learn specific technology skills that can go quickly out of date, I instead seek to teach life-long skills such as digital storytelling that can be adapted across technology platforms.
I believe that the learner and their understandings of the world come first, and so choose to initially consider student needs, and then choose technology that is capable of enabling their improvement. In this way, my practice incorporates simple, mobile devices that can be taken to the small-group spaces where I work with my students, and which can be learnt in seconds such that they become an invisible part of students learning. These simple voice recorders and PDAs do however allow students to capture their learning experiences and use the technology to help them reflect and improve in ways which their learning difficulties prevents them from doing.
Finally, I believe that I must learn with my students to be a role model for going where I in turn can ask them to go. Thus, if the world of technology is going towards ubiquitous, real-time communication, so must I. And also so must I share this world with them in responsible AND innovative ways.