We cannot, no matter how hard we try or how smart we are (or think we are), invent the future education of our children for them. The only way to move forward effectively is to combine what they know about technology with what we know and require about education.

Reflecting on technology use in my classroom and relating it to the article, Shaping Tech for the Classroom, I have to admit I’m stuck somewhere between old things in old ways and old things in new ways.  I am one of the “digital immigrants” continually striving to improve my tech integration to meet the needs of today’s students. As technology goes, I feel I’m constantly increasing the opportunities for students to use tech to demonstrate their understanding of the topics at hand.  Since I teach writing, one of the tools I have students use is Google Docs for “real time” editing and collaboration.  Even further,  I “up the ante” on digital opportunities – such as using an online writing tool, the WPP, which allows students to input expository essays and immediately receive a computerized score based on an ERB standardized rubric.  How cool is this for students and  teachers!  Not only does it provide an instant score, but it also provides interactive digital lessons to assist students in the areas of weaknesses in their submitted pieces!  All along I’m thinking how “cool” this is for them – they receive feedback  instantly!  The reality is that it’s really only cool for me –  the students have been using this type of tech for a long while. Whether the students are “hanging out“, “messing around” or “geeking out“, they have been honing their collaborative skills since they could reach a  keyboard.  These “digital natives” have known no other real form of collaboration and this type of interactive, instant response is a part of their generation. I, like a lot of other educators, am simply trying to catch up to the students we teach.  The key is to be able synthesize what students already know with the expectations of the curriculum.

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