Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Technology is.....

What is technology?

Yesterday that question was really going through my mind.  I had previously discussed it with other colleagues and I wanted to make sure that my students and I were on the same page.

What is it?

My hypothesis was that they would say that technology was just devices.  Since we are a BYOD classroom I was surprised when that was not the only answer.

The students had an engaging conversation about what is technology.  Interestingly enough the common fishing pole was used as their discussion point.  One of my students said how once upon a time the twig and a string was how to catch fish.  Imagine the surprise when the fishing reel was introduced.  It would have changed how people fish.

The pen came next.  The pen! Ironic I thought considering I had made the argument with the pen in an earlier post. Once upon a time we used feathers and ink imagine that surprise when a pen was invented.  Oh the technology!

Getting back to the question what is technology?

What is technology brainstorm

As a class we brainstormed three questions on three different colored sticky notes. 

What is it?
Examples in our lives.
I use it most.....

Students had some amazing ideas.

Our final class definition of technology was, "Anything that can make our lives easier today".

To follow this up we examined an article that looks at a school that bans the use of technology.  The article can be found here.  Why some Ohio schools ban all tech in the classroom
I had posted the article on the class blog.

Students were given a few moments to read the article independently and then asked to comment on the post.  I modelled for the students how to accept the and approve any posts on blogs as some of the students needed that guidance for our digital literature circles.

They had some valuable responses.  After noticing how a variety of opinions formed I asked the students to form a line.  Take a physical stand on the line of agreeing with the article or disagreeing.

 Should technology be banned from classrooms?

Most of the students were against technology being banned.  Interestingly the one outlier was the student that not only uses technology the most on a daily basis but also had a negative experience with what technology can do.

Returning to their seats I questioned them......"If most of you agree with keeping technology,explain why".  I gave them a new sticky note.  Pink!

 All of the students had a few ideas to why they felt that way.  After their individual brainstorm they shared with someone sitting next to them, someone across from them and finally someone from the opposite gender. 

Their assignment now was to evaluate and support their stand.  After discussing with peers they were given a chance to create a post on their blogs about technology in the classroom.  The expectation was to site where they found their supporting information and to use at least two different sources in their post. 

After that the keys were clicking!  Students had something to say.  I am excited to read their posts.

Want to know one of the things I love about this lesson?  They are now writing persuasively with out me actually telling them to write persuasively. Bonus they are evaluating texts they want to use in their post. 
Some of the students inserted videos and pictures which they would not have been able to do if they had just written this piece the traditional way with the pen (not the feather and ink well) and paper.

Whoa ha ha ha! 

Another lesson that I believe uses technology to inspire teen thinkers.  What do you think?

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