Thursday, February 24, 2011

Technology Self-Assessment: 2.0

I perused the results of the NETS-T Module"Design Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments" after taking my teacher technology self-assessment. I chose this standard because with computers becoming ever more ubiquitous and considering how easy it is for technology to do so much for us, including thinking, it's paramount that future generations of people not fall into the trap of letting computers stunt their learning. Instead, they must incorporate it into conventional ways of developing critical thinking skills.
I happened upon one resource in the form of an article by James McKenzie called "Beyond Cut-and-Paste: Engaging Students in Wrestling with Questions of Import." The piece stresses the importance of teachers getting students to learn how to use the Internet to gather information that they can in turn use to arrive at their own conclusions, as opposed to giving them questions that can be answered by doing a simple Google search. 
As someone who values critical thinking and wants to teach younger people how to use their own mentation and reflection to teach themselves as opposed to parroting even me, this article very much struck a cord with me; as a future language arts teacher, I have every intention of structuring my classroom around the students funneling material through their own analytical capacities to make sense of things. I like the fact that McKenzie proffered an example of a history teacher asking students to answer questions of judgment pertaining to historical figures, and then turning the students loose to examine first-and second-hand resources that they can find on the Internet, weighing said evidence and using it to support their own answers. This is how the Internet should be used in the classroom, and I do think that not enough teachers understand this.

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