Teaching the iGeneration: It's About Verbs, Not Tools
One of the pivotal moments in my career as an educator came during an email exchange with Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach , a long-time Teacher Leaders Network colleague and friend. We were wrestling with the role that technology should play in our classrooms and I was arguing that today's students couldn't possibly be successful unless they knew how to use a blog or a wiki.
"It's not about the tools, Bill," Sheryl pushed back. "It's about the behaviors that the tools enable."
As semantically simple as that linguistic shift may seem, it's a remarkably important lesson that teachers and school leaders need to learn if we ever hope to see technology being used in meaningful ways in our classrooms. Instead of trying to find ways to integrate blogging, movie-making, and videoconferencingor worse yet, Animoto, Skype, Wordle, or Voicethreadinto our instruction, we need to spend our time and energy focusing on the kinds of essential skills that students can polish, explore, and master with the help...
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