It’s complicated…

I changed my professional development workshop focus and title from Technology Enhanced Instruction (TEI) to Technology Supported Learning (TSL) many years ago.

As an educator, being a “guide on the side” seemed way more appropriate and comfortable than being a “sage on the stage” for me personally. I always feel a bit guilty after one of these workshops because I have learned so much, compared to what the participants take away.

I love teaching and learning stories. A couple have made me stop and think about computer-mediated drill and practice. From my technologist perspective, this seemed like a reasonable way to encourage kids to spend time on task improving their arithmetic skills – privacy, patience, personalization, tracking to show improvement / mastery. Now I’m having to think about this in new ways – control and the “right” answer.

Control in drill and practice – Those who cannot claim computers as their own tool for exploring the world never grasp the power of technology…They are controlled by technology as adults–just as drill-and-practice routines controlled them as students. —  MGuhlin via OLDaily

Standard testing and the correct answer – Real life, and real thought, are too complicated to be foreseen – and so need to be put aside at testing time.A Lesson in Teaching to the Test, From E.B. White

While there is no question in my mind about conflicts associated with standardized testing and learning, even some of the potentially beneficial computer aided learning must be viewed in a very broad context to ensure appropriate and positive  learning outcomes.

— we are born curious, and the best education models do not proceed on the basis of “what we want them to learn”


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