As I have moved through the state and talked with educators about learning through technology, including while working with MLTI (the Maine Learning Technology Initiative), too often the conversations focused on laptops and tablets and folks wondering if we could find devices that were less expensive.
Is it possible that in their thinking, all laptops and devices were created equal, in such a way that the only variable is cost?
Possibly it is the wrong conversation completely. The conversation shouldn’t be about price; it should be about value.
We may have missed the boat on the value conversation when we started spending too much time talking about the technology and the tools, or about providing technology and procurement.
We need to spend most of our time talking about what kinds of learning we would like to make happen with the technology. You can only get to the value conversation when you can discuss what you want to do with the devices and compare different devices and tools around how well suited they are to those purposes.
A really wonderful professor of elementary educational technology, Ralph Granger, used to say, “When you go to the hardware store to buy a new drill bit, you don’t really want a drill bit. You want a hole.” When it comes to educational technology, we need to talk less about our “drill bits” and more about the “holes” we want.
Or, as Marc Prensky is given credit for saying, we need more verbs and fewer nouns.
And, as TPACK reminds us, when we align our educational arrows, we are talking about content, pedagogy, and technology (What instructional strategies might we use to teach this learning target, and how might we leveraging our devices?).
How are you prepared to help make our educational technology conversations focus more on learning?