Wednesday, November 06, 2013

From Blocks to the Boardroom: A Systems Approach to Educational Technology

Why does technology often seem underused in classrooms?

What's the best framework for using technology in educational setting?
blocks to robots book
What can systems thinking teach us about the use of educational technology?

How can technology be used effectively in a class with a wide range of learners?

When you drop a new species into an environment, why does it often die or wreak havoc on the host ecosystem?

The last question may seem out of place, but I believe it offers a key to why technology often underperforms in educational settings.  By 'underperform' I mean it does not match our experiences with this technology outside of schools, such as with an iPad, or it just seemed so much better on the showroom floor.

fifth discipline bookThese are the questions I plan to investigate in Using Integrated Software in Spring 2014.   I've found some interesting research--from technology in early childhood education in Bers' From Blocks to Robots to Senge's Fifth Discipline.  We'll also explore Universal Design for Learning, Khan Academy, and flipped classrooms in between.  Our focus will be on the environmental factors that enable successful uses of technology--a systems approach.

 The course will be a combination of short research papers and hands-on technology projects.

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