I am getting worried that tech integrators are starting to push projects based on a certain technology, or just offering up tool boxes of “top ten” tools to teachers and expecting them to build a lesson with them. We should be focused on getting teachers to create higher order authentic units in which it is necessary to use technological tools to achieve the goals and objectives of the unit. Unit comes first, selection of tools come second. I think the ed tech world is starting to push the tools, and forgetting to push the unit’s concepts, goals and objectives.
Architects don’t select a carpenter’s tool and then decide to build a house using only that tool. You don’t give a mechanic a tool box and tell them to build a car. Design comes first, tool selection comes second. We shouldn’t be creating units to highlight technology in our classroom. We should be creating units that highlight authentic use of critical thinking skills first, tech integration second. Do the first, and the second should come naturally.
I don’t use technology in my class because it is cool. I don’t create projects around a certain type of 2.0 tool. I don’t look at my tool box before I start designing a lesson. I don’t use it to motivate or teach the kids. I don’t use it to make my units more exciting or engaging. The design of my units make the use of technology necessary. The units are not technology in search of content, technology in search of a project, or technology in search of a reason to be used. Every unit should have a reason why technology should have to be used to meet the goals and objectives of the lesson, otherwise our kids’ learning is dictated by the tools we give them. We need to let them build, not be built.