Wednesday, January 29, 2014

If You Were a Fly on My Classroom Wall | January 20, 2014

Jessica Anderson

You can read, listen, or read and listen (
If you were a fly on my classroom wall, what would you see? (Insert special fly powers…your compound eyes can now focus, but you keep your almost 360 degree view. Is that better? Okay.)

With your amazing view, you see that some students are watching an awesome video introducing rocks (really, it's awesome), some are working on a rock identification lab with video explanation, and others are making the wordigneous look like the definition (thanks Dave Burgess) which will eventually become a part of a digital picture collage. From an outside view, it's probably exciting to see students engaging in so many activities and using many different technological devices. However, to the students in room 105 it's just another day in science class.

I'm a firm believer that in order for technology to be effective, it's presence has to be seamless. It must be just another fly on the wall. It can't require a great deal of effort as the goal is not the technology, but the learning that comes from and is applied by the technology. 

For instance, the goal of my students' Genius Hour projects was learning for learnings sake. So when asked to create a video and then upload it to YouTube to obtain an authentic audience, it was about the students sharing their passion and knowledge. It wasn't about a grade (nor was a grade given), and it most definitely was not about the technology (although cool). 

I can think of numerous ways I integrate technology and tell you about all the awesome projects I've done across all my classes, but that's not really important. What is important is that when I observe my classroom, I see students building tech, content, and life skills, learning how to use technology for learnings sake, and having a great time doing it. So if you're ever really a fly on my wall, you'll really see what's happening.