Old Things in New Ways

The introduction of new tools has, without a doubt changed teaching and learning. In this week’s reading, Marc Prensky’s Shaping Tech for the Classroom, he outlines the 4 step process of technology adoption. The 4 steps are
  • Dabbling.
  • Doing old things in old ways.
  • Doing old things in new ways.
  • Doing new things in new ways.
This is something I debated with colleagues last year when attending a PYP course, ICT in the PYP. We talked quite a bit about how using technology to do old things in new ways had a lot of benefits and could be more efficient. One example I talked about was helping my Year 2 students to learn to read Dolch Words. Dolch words are a list of 220 frequently used words in the English language. These words were prepared in 1936 and first published in 1948. In my first few years of teaching I would get index cards and use markers to write the words to use with my students, then as more teachers began sharing, I found great sites with pre made flashcards, which at the time I thought was fantastic, and that there was no way things could get any better. Now, there are online games that I put onto my class Delicious page for them to work on, iPad apps, and interactive activities I can do on my IWB. What is that I hear you saying? That there are still students that struggle to read the Dolch word lists? Yes, there are still children who struggle to read the words but having access to engaging technologies is just one way of helping them learn. I’m doing the same thing (teaching the Dolch words) that teachers have been doing for decades but having it all available at my fingertips is extremely beneficial.  I am endeavoring to do new things in new ways. This is an evolving process. I recently became involved with Julie LIndsay’s Flat Classroom – K-2 Project –  Building Bridges to Tomorrow, and my class is participating in this project where we are figuring out how young students can effectively connect, communicate and collaborate in a global project.
I recently came across an interesting video – a teacher from Canada showing what doing old things in new ways looks like in her classroom.

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