I am catching up on my blog reading, and Peter Gow’s observations about a middle school class discussion really resonated with me from my own many school observations on the road trip. Peter says that the discussion was ridiculously high level, and yet many of the trappings of “21C” were not present; it was just Old School, face-to-face, no jumping to post or search or archive in a digital portfolio.
An almost universal understanding from the most forward-thinking of those I visited in the last three months: technology is not and should not be the driver it was even 5-8 years ago. Why not? Simple. Technology is still something cool and remarkable to us adults. To the students it just “is”. It is like air to them, and getting more so every day. If we truly focus on the student experience as the core of learning, and remove ourselves as much as possible, technology will be part of the learning experience, but not something we fixate on as we do now.
Ten years ago I argued that a measure of good learning was how much time in class was taken by students asking questions instead of teachers answering them; I received a lot of blank stares. Now that is pretty much mainstream. We will look back on this time the same way: did we really focus on the role of technology in learning? It is like asking if water is part of swimming.