Behind the Blog

Behind the Blog
My name is Cindy Kruse and I've been learning from elementary students for the past 16 years. I enjoy discovering new technology and implementing it in the classroom, absolutely love literacy, and am passionate about Responsive Classroom. I am constantly striving to learn new and innovative ways to teach students in order to provide authentic, interesting, and joyful classrooms.


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Monday, August 22, 2011

A Call for "Out of the Box" Thinking ...

When technology is used effectively in education it can engage, inspire, connect, and empower students. However, the real power of technology lies in how you use it. Technology's role in the educational setting should be to support and organize student learning. There is a tendency when creating a technology plan to focus on the "boxes and wires", rather than the people that the plan is intended to impact. A successful technology plan focuses on people rather than technology.

There is no doubt that school districts across the nation recognize the importance of integrating technology into instruction - much time and energy has been committed to writing and implementing technology plans in every district. Recently, the federal government rolled out the National Technology Plan for Education. This plan focuses on five key areas: learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure, and productivity. Dr.
Fishman, part of the team that authored the plan, made this important point at the University of Massachusetts Virtual Conference, "Knowing how to use technology and knowing how to use it for teaching are two extremely different skills." This statement serves to reiterate the cry among educators today that technology alone will not fix the predicament we currently find ourselves in as a nation.

While it is imperative that we establish a technology plan in each of our schools, that plan must include considerations as a result of discussions about what we teach, how we teach, where and how students learn, as well as how we assess student learning. We must have a plan in place if our schools are going to leverage the power of technology in order to move us towards providing instruction that meets the needs of each individual learner in lieu of the one-size-fits-all approach that is currently in place in too many schools.

A technology plan that is effective focuses on people - the students, parents, educators, and community to ensure that the instruction and learning environments that we create for our students include the following competencies: critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, global communication, and authenticity through real world applications resulting in assessments that provide credible evidence of learning and transforming thinking in the education process.