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Engagement First — Then Technology — May Be the Secret to Student Success

Posted by Kate Seat on Jul 26, 2016 10:19:53 AM
Topics: K-12, ed tech

Today, educational technology makes a big impact on the average K-12 classroom. Whether through introducing devices into the classroom or having students use computers at home, there are very few instances where adding some edtech doesn't improve the chances of also increasing positive learning outcomes. However, in some cases, too much technology, too soon may be putting the cart before the horse — taking students' engagement levels into consideration beforehand may lead to more successful results. Eric Patnoudes explains how in this excerpt from an article for EdTech Magazine.

Engagement leads to student success

Create Powerful Conditions

If the goal is to engage students, then focus your time and energy exploring how to create the powerful conditions for learning before you utter “ed tech.” Once you’ve mastered those skills, technology will serve as rocket fuel and take your instruction to the next level.

Now, I know this type of instructional shift takes time, but this is not about how teachers prefer to learn, or how comfortable teachers are with technology. There isn’t enough time or money in the world to provide teachers with face-to-face professional development on all of the technology that exists today. It’s not sustainable, and we can’t keep up with the pace of change.

I believe there’s a need to shift away from teaching students what to learn, to teaching them how to learn, and the same goes for teachers when it comes to professional development.

Students only get 930,000 minutes of instructional time from kindergarten to 12th grade. They can’t afford to wait for educators to get comfortable with doing things differently than they have in the past.

More importantly, to paraphrase 88-year-old MIT mathematician, computer scientist and educator Seymour Papert: Simply adding technology to the classroom, but changing nothing else, is absurd. Focus on instruction and creating the conditions for powerful learning before anything else. So when you do use technology, it will be your rocket fuel and not simply a new way of doing old things.

— Eric Patnoudes via EdTech Magazine
Continue reading the original article

About Kate Seat

Kate Seat is a former copywriter at MBS. When away from work, she’s either creating one-of-a-kind art dolls, reading or watching way too much tv with her husband, daughter and an irritable chinchilla named Klaus.

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