There was a time in the not-so-distant-past where technology was trying to keep up with what was happening in the schools. Then we reached a level where the hardware and the expectation of the curriculum were closely in sync. Most recently though we have seen the capabilities of technology outpace the models of classroom instruction that many of us have grown comfortable teaching with.
We are no longer in a space where we should worry about “what” technology we have. We should shift our focus to “what we can do with it” to enhance our student’s mastery of the world. Some fantastic current examples of this trend are Project-Based Learning, MakerSpaces, Flipped Classrooms, and many more. These new approaches were created as a “result” of what technology made available rather than driving the technology itself. We are playing catch-up to a certain degree within the classrooms. It can be very exhausting to attempt to stay on top of your curriculum, the needs of your students, your own personal digital surroundings, and still attempt to bring and merge all of those together to create something new and exciting.
The good news is that some of the “tried and true” methods are still applicable. They just need to be revisited and looked at in a new light, like the collaborative/cooperative learning concepts we have been using in education for the last 30 years. These are still great concepts, where we can split the class up into groups, each group researches an element of a project, bring them together and do a group-share so the whole class benefits from the sum of its parts. But this is only the tip of the iceberg!
Technology now allows us to have multiple student screens visible at the same time. Using technology like Vivitek’s NovoPro, the teacher can show all four group’s projects simultaneously. She can show four different students work on the same math problem or four different science lab results to the whole class. This changes the way we can think about these functions in a classroom. This causes us to challenge our previous beliefs.
Teachers need to feel supported during this process. The NovoAssurED program is designed to support teachers’ move past the “nouns” and into the verbs of digital collaboration. Let’s begin the conversation about what digital collaboration can be…… together.