Monday, January 9, 2012

The New, Cool Tech Activity Doesn't Fit My Curriculum!

Being in a classroom where there is no set curriculum I have the luxury of being able to do just about anything that I want to with my students. Having my class in a computer lab makes it very easy to use online tech tools with my students too. I am the obviously the exception, not the rule.

The strange thing is I still have goals and objectives for my students and they don't always mesh up with what is going on in the ed tech universe. There have been a lot of tech tools being adopted by my Twitter friends that I have little desire to incorporate into my classroom. A lot of the tools simply don't do anything that furthers my students understanding of concepts I think are important.

Occasionally something does come up that I find very intriguing and see a lot of great learning opportunities coming from it. That doesn't mean I will immediately jump into it with both feet though. Here are a few reasons why:
  1. My students are usually doing projects that require at least a week to do, most take much longer. I (usually) can't stop to throw something new at them.
  2. My goal for my class is for students to bridge the divide between using digital tools and their regular content areas. If we are working on a project for science, the "new thing" may not fit into the content area goals.
  3. I need time to really think about using new tools/ideas in my classroom to make sure that the time they use is a real benefit to my students now and in the future. I have them for a semester one hour a day.
 Do I feel guilty hearing about the students' reactions to teachers using these tools? Absolutely! Does that affect my decision making? I hope not. The time I spend with my students is their time, not mine. My job is to do what is best for them and sometimes that means not doing the new, cool tech activity.

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