For those of who spend a lot of our time writing and speaking about our vision of 21st century, technology integrated and accelerated learning, there is great value in finding and sharing videos which better display these practices in action.
This new video from edutopia is far from perfect– the snippets of classroom activity are too brief, and confusingly, often show students not using technology. (Don’t get me wrong: effective tech integration never should mean or entail constant use of tech. It is just that this video in entitled, an introduction to technology integration.)
But the contributing talking heads are a brilliant trio, and represent well the breadth of the power of tech integration– a breadth that is sometimes seen as ultimately containing a contradiction or at least a problematic internal tension, but which I still idealistically hope can be reconciled.
That breadth and/or contradiction is that Sal Khan on the one hand and MaryBeth Hertz and Adam Bellow on the other.
Is tech to be used for personalizing learning for mastery by the use of individualized, self-paced, automated lesson modules that can often indeed strengthen skill mastery, but are canned, boxed in, and somewhat dispiriting to human spirit, lacking in opportunities for exploration, experimentation, collaboration and play?
Or, is to be used as a web 2.0 tool: an open door to the world of online sharing, research, and production, deliberately out of any box and unconstrained by any commercial or even open source “product” but intended to be for expressing oneself, pursuing one’s passion, connecting to real people in real places beyond our immediate experience and partaking in the joy of connection and common cause and having an impact on the wider world?
This video seems to seek to unite, rather than divide, these two approaches. Let us hope this reconciliation can and will be done effectively, wisely, and powerfully for the learning of all our students.