We live in a technology-driven world, and our students are digital natives. Teachers must embrace this and understand how to integrate technology into the classroom to enhance learning. There are 2 different types of technology that happen in the classroom. You have consumption and creation that can happen in the classroom.
What does technology look like in the classroom?
When students use educational websites, watch instructional YouTube videos, and read research articles, they consume information through various media outlets. Students should be exposed to technology that allows for growth and understanding of current concepts. We want our students to learn through different mediums and not just listen to a teacher drone on with a lecture. Research indicates that technology has its place in the classroom. The effect size for web-based programs is a modest .18 according to Hattie’s “barometer of influence”. However, we are looking for an effect size of .4 or higher for effective growth in the classroom. This doesn’t mean we should never have students consuming information; it has its place and leads to using technology to create and share their learning through different mediums.
So what can we do with the information and learning they gain by consuming…
We want to keep the students engaged and moving to develop their future-ready skills continually. A fantastic approach is introducing creation through technology and choice in the classroom. Imagine the engagement in their work when we allow them to choose a project that lets them apply what they’ve learned. We can have them take their research of a concept or person and create a podcast, infographic, vlog, or blog; the skies are the limit.
Creation involves students engaging their critical thinking skills and finding a way to convey their learning to an authentic audience. Cultivating a student-led environment fosters creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration, which brings future-ready skills to the forefront of a classroom. The 4 Cs (Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication, and Collaboration) impact students’ lives, which is one more reason to bring in more creation-based technology into your classroom. Planning for creation-based technology in your classroom may initially appear challenging, but it provides an excellent opportunity to incorporate a student-led experience with creation and choice. Giving students the opportunity to lead their learning and creating their knowledge to be seen by others brings learning to life and has a lasting impact.
But how do we begin to plan for creation to be brought into our classrooms…
The 4 PLC questions are an excellent start to planning technology that allows for creation in your classroom. It gives you a framework to plan activities centred around student learning. It brings the 4 Cs into your planning with your team. I have used the digital planning template above with teachers when planning an activity around students creating with technology. It helps drive the discussion and keep the focal point around the learning outcome and not the technology tool the students will use to show their learning.
So, are you going to try out some creation in your class…
Most research indicates that highly successful students and technology-enhanced classrooms prioritize student collaboration, communication, and problem-solving, fostering a more learner-centric approach to technology-integrated learning. This approach transforms the learning experience into a student-led environment, providing them the opportunity to be a voice in their growth. Embracing creation with technology in the classroom is worth the time and effort, as it gives our students the skills they need to thrive in an ever-changing, technology-driven world. So, go for it! Take that leap, incorporating technology into your classroom with the goal of creating for all your students. The benefits and impact on your students are lifelong and undeniable.