2d – Summary & Evidence

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2d. Coach teachers in and model design and implementation of technology-enhanced learning experiences emphasizing creativity, higher-order thinking skills and processes, and mental habits of mind (e.g., critical thinking, metacognition, and self-regulation).

I have been in classrooms many times with students who are texting or SnapChatting with a friend that say “I don’t do technology” or “I’m not good at technology”. I honestly do not think they see that type of activity as using technology. It is just how they communicate. It is a great example of how the technology has become invisible behind the purpose of the task students are engaged in. Since I  usually hear the complaint when I am asking students to do something productive or creative with technology, I suspect the sentiment has more to do with the nature of the task. Production takes slightly  more mental energy and skill than communicating, but typing a paper, doing research or filling out an online worksheet is not necessarily hard. Sometimes there are purely technical issues that frustrate students or they are lacking a certain skill in using a particular tool but once they have learned it they rarely have to revisit it. Many of these types of tasks would also be considered to be at Substitution and Augmentation level of SAMR. The creator of SAMR, Ruben Puentedura, equates the three lower levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy (Remember, Understand and Apply) to this level. (Puentedura, 2014) Most students are used to this type of learning and use productivity tools like Word or Google docs, PowerPoints or Slides with relatively little struggle.

Creation, however, takes a much deeper understanding of the topic being studied and often requires that a broader question is being asked. In my post Engaging Students in Global Collaboration I mentioned an educator, Mr. Foale, who was experimenting with the idea of Un-Googlable questions to push his projects into the Modification and Redefinition areas of SAMR as well as the top levels of Bloom’s (Analyze, Evaluate, Create). He mentions that this focus “has made some students decidedly uncomfortable”. This area of productive struggle is where learning happens but he did realize how much scaffolding and support would be needed for his students to be successful. I think this is true of any creativity task, it takes time and support. If we are only interested in “covering” our content areas we will not be able to find the time to engage students in creative tasks that show their understanding and learning.

And we do need students to engage in reflection about their learning and take ownership of reaching their academic goals. If you look closely at John Hattie’s effect size research (Hattie, 2009) you’ll find that at least 6 of the top 20 most effective learning strategies have something to do with reflective process of thinking. In that same post, Better Metacognition Through Reflection, I also referred to a tool called Sown To Grow that I really think has a lot of potential to help students both track and reflect on their learning process.

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References

Foale. (2014). UnGoogleable Questions in the classroom. A first step. | Mister Foale is learning. Retrieved from https://misterfoaleislearning.edublogs.org/2014/06/16/ungoogleable-questions-in-the-classroom-a-first-step/

Hattie, J. (2018). Hattie effect size list – 256 Influences Related To Achievement. Retrieved from https://visible-learning.org/hattie-ranking-influences-effect-sizes-learning-achievement/

Puentedura, R. (2014). SAMR and Bloom’s Taxonomy: Assembling the Puzzle. Retrieved from https://www.commonsense.org/education/blog/samr-and-blooms-taxonomy-assembling-the-puzzle

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