- Does the technology tool aid students in developing a more sophisticated understanding of the content? By students using technology to research their road trip (using authentic websites to reserve hotels, pay for meals, gas...etc), they are able to assess their understanding of rates, proportions, percents in mathematics with authentic data that connects to the real world (rather than a worksheet).
- Does the technology create scaffolds to make it easier to understand concepts or ideas? The students were able to use technology to better see and experience the connections between math, geography, and social studies in everyday life. They are no longer isolated workbooks or class activities.
- Does the technology create paths for students to demonstrate their understanding of the learning goals in a way that they could not do with traditional tools? There was a lot of choice available because the students could select where to go, what websites and digital resources to use to help aid in their development of the trip. Creation, critical thinking, and construction were all important skills that were enhanced with the aid of technology tools.
Liz Kolb is a clinical assistant professor of education technologies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She works with over 150 preservice teachers every year on integrating technology into K-12 teaching.
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