Is it amazing?

Poolside this morning, I had a conversation with my wife regarding the screen time of students and technology use in schools. This conversation took me back to 2008/9 when I first met Chris Betcher at a PD ran by Apple for its Apple Distinguished Educators. Chris’s keynote was titled, “This is not amazing”. He opened up with the definition of Amazing.

Amazing (adjective) astonishing, astounding, surprising, stunning, staggering, shocking, startling, stupefying, breathtaking; awesome, awe-inspiring, sensational, remarkable, spectacular, stupendous, phenomenal, extraordinary, incredible, unbelievable; informal mind-blowing, jaw-dropping

After years of teaching and presenting throughout the Asia-Pacific region about the many affordances of having technology in our classrooms I am still amazed that we are still seeing posters like this. Yes, I am amazed.

I am starting to think that it is very easy for us as educators to be stuck in the Substitution phase of the SAMR model and I am not sure why this is so* Is it because of the PD model? Or is it the expectation that technology must be used at all costs. If this is the case, then the arguments for restricting screen time at school could be justified.

Kentaro Toyamo said that the primary effect of technology is to amplify human forces, therefore it (technology) should be there to amplify our pedagogical capacity/practices. Therefore is our pedagogy before the introduction of laptops/mobiles phones/ BYOx was poor, then adding the technology will exacerbate the problem.

There are many models of PD used in education throughout the world. Which PD models work? I have been involved in a range of PD that is online that restricts you to using there own social media which has a tendency to be inwardly thinking as you are in a walled garden and restricted to the thoughts and experiences of those you are doing the PD with.

Sessions that allow you to see and talk to other educators that use these tools in their classrooms are always preferable than sessions in a lecture style IMO as they have a pedagogical framework on which they have implemented these tools. This generally leads to higher levels of the SAMR model we are missing in our classrooms.

I am interested in hearing more from other educators in the Asia-Pacific region and what they feel is needed. You can reach me via a range of social media tools by the name I_Teach_ICT

*I totally understand the some tasks will be best suited to substitution and in the pictorial examples given, these certainly should have been done using the array of technology that a school/student has access to.

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