Friday, June 17, 2011

Guiding Principles for Technology Use

Here are my guidelines for using technology. This is still VERY much a work in progress. But here’s what I came up with after doing some brainstorming:

The purpose of technology is to:
1. Allow for student centered learning
            -Technology allows for increased opportunities for student centered learning
2. Allow for increased collaboration with others.
            -What excites me most about technology is the ability to collaborate with others.  Students can discuss content and activities with other classes, students taking the same course with a different teacher, experts in the field, and so much more.
3. Allow students to gain valuable learning experiences not previously available.
            -Technology can allow students to analyze real world data that they wouldn’t be able to   collect on their own. Simulations, animations, and images to difficult concepts are right at their fingertips.
4. Differentiate instruction for students.
5. Increase motivation of students
            -In age where students are constantly using and surrounded by technology, technology can be used to connect with students, to increase motivation and increase participation. I’ve put this at the end of the list. Technology shouldn’t be used as gimmick to get students’ attention, but can be used a great hook into lessons.

Possible uses of technology:
1. Post and evaluate work
            -Students can post their work, and then other students can comment. This allows for increased discussion and sharing of ideas.
2. Classroom blog
            -This can be used to supplement class discussions, provide example of student work, and  serve as an informational center. (I’m sure there are many more that I will be able to add to this list over the next few weeks.)

Caveat: With all of benefits of technology mentioned above, there is one main guideline that should always be considered; is technology enhancing the learning experience? Is the focus on the learning of content and problem solving skills and not on the mechanics of the technology? When incorporating technology into my lessons, I must ask myself this question every time.

That’s what I have for now. Any questions, comments, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading!


  1. Very well done. I like how you worded the guidelines so they are more positive and less restrictive rules. It's cool how you have a section outlining different possible uses of technology as well.

  2. Thanks for the comment. I hope to build on the list as we progress through this course.

  3. Your ideas are very interesting, Taylor. As you rightly mentioned under 'Post and evaluate work', technology gives a big push for peer review, which is otherwise not so visible in a conventional classroom. Allowing a real-time conversation on a blog or a similar forum is a great way to gauge students' understanding.

  4. Spot on - in regards to "enhancing." If we are just using technology for technology sake, it isn't worth it! As you said, we need to use these tools to give students enriching experiences that we can't do without the technology.

  5. Number three is what I believe to be the strongest reason to use technology in the classroom. There are so many online simulations that can be used to increase student understanding of topics taught in class. Even in a school without a lot of lab resources, websites can provide endless options for exploring scientific concepts and exposing students to situations they might not be able to experience in real-life.