Let's Ask the Right Questions This Year! Focusing on STUDENT Outcomes.
I'm about to enter my fourth year as the Director of Instructional Technology for the Fort Sam Houston Independent School District. The last four years has been wildly exciting as we have grown leaps and bounds in technology field. We've got a lot of new hardware and software all around the district - Mimio interactive whiteboards in every classroom, beautiful websites thanks to eChalk, a one-to-one netbook program at the high school, and much more!
We are, indeed, rich with resources. Now, it's time to get down to brass tacks. This year I really want to challenge the teachers (and students) to the seamless integration of technology in the curriculum. And I've come to realize that sometimes asking the right question is what really matters.
Years ago, I read a book by John Miller called The Question Behind The Question. In it, the author challenges us to form questions that place responsibility in the right hands. The questions I want to get away from this year are those that focus on how teachers are going to use technology. I want to move to questions that spur the teacher into putting technology into the hands of the kids...
- What will your students create with the technology?
- How will they use technology to show they understand the core concepts of what they're learning?
- What artifacts will they produce to demonstrate their learning?
- How will your students use technology to connect in the global learning world?
The list could go on and on. I hope that these types of questions will push our teachers to design engaging and meaningful work for their students where technology isn't used just for technologies' sake, but as a tool for learning in general. I am also hopeful that these questions will lead to higher order thought and a greater understanding of both content and technology.
I'll keep you posted.