I’ve been thinking a lot about tools and space lately. What digital tools work well in my class? What analog tools are necessary for chemistry? What teaching tools work the best to communicate concepts to my kids? All of these questions led to: “What tools are essential for learning?”
Ira Socol and I have had some interesting discussions in the past regarding technology. I remember one of our first discussions was over what “technology” is. I focused on the digital alone. Ira came with the belief that everything we use, tables and chairs, pens, notebooks, are all a form of technology. Truth be told, I left that discussion feeling frustrated and a little irked that he focused so much on the “boring” stuff of schools. To me, the difference between a pen and pencil as tools made zero difference.
As I teach longer, I continually add tools to my arsenal. I’ll learn or develop new functions of spaces in the room. I’ll re-purpose my walls or my spare pencil box. We’ll use blogs rather than writing on paper. Or, other days, we’ll pull some paper out and write with pencils. The line between digital tools and analog tools is blurring every day. Which ones are essential? Which ones simply make the learning process more streamlined?
I have some thoughts:
Don’t get me wrong, I definitely have some favorite tools that really make teaching easier and more fun. Changing class up with digital and/or analog integration is a responsibility, not a gimmick. Don’t get too bogged down, though, by relying too much on your bag of supplies.
I’d love to hear about what you use in your teaching in the comments.
I appreciate everyone who reads and comments on my blog. If you’d like to receive email notifications when new posts are published, please take a minute and subscribe in the box on the right.Written on September 11th, 2012 by Brian Bennett Categorized in: All Teaching Technology