Legacies of Learning

I think one of the most powerful aspects of technology in the classroom and with student learning is the ability to offer a student the chance to share their learning with a global audience and to have their learning product withstand time. With the help of technology, students have the opportunity to create legacies of learning; products to be shared with other learners and which can be built upon and improved. In my math and science class, technology is used to support the development of theses “legacies of learning”. I want students to understand that they are teachers, innovators and creative artists and that they need to share these with a larger global population. In math class, students create tutorial videos based on what they understand at the conceptual level. They become teachers, creating videos to help other students. In both math and science class, students engage in inquiry-based projects where they are using the knowledge learned in class to answer a personally relevant question. We use technology to help students show the path they took to answer their question. Students create short documentaries, tracing their steps and showing the work they did to answer their question. These videos become models for other students to watch and understand the expectations and how they can use knowledge. They also become possible starting points for new students to build off the ideas of another student and improve the idea.

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In my class, we use technology for these wonderful purposes but also balance this with paper and pencil thinking, storyboarding, whiteboard collaboration and sketches of ideas before using the technology. The use of technology without a front end load of time spent on thinking about how to use it, what I want to say, how will I say it and how can I use technology to deepen understanding, will only end up with technology impeding learning rather than helping.

2 thoughts on “Legacies of Learning

  1. Liz Cho

    I love the idea of students helping students, learning from each other, not just a singular teacher. I agree with you that that is powerful and quite frankly, a lifelong learning technique: Learn from those around you, finding a community that will continue to make each member better.

    I wonder: Have you considered asking kids how their learning has changed by watching each other’s videos? Is this something that they do only in class because of your directive, or is there natural tendency and desire to choose to learn from their classmates’ videos? I also wonder if we storyboard, sketch out ideas, etc. before integrating technology, is technology needed as an end conduit to hold these notes at all? If they’ve done the learning, wouldn’t doing it over again with technology be the possible impediment? Would love to hear your thoughts.

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  2. Rob Desormeau

    Frank,

    I truly enjoyed reading about how you are using technology in the classroom as it relates to your whole idea about ‘legacies of learning’. I would like to learn much more about this, but the thought of how learning can withstand time and that we are creating learning for the purpose of being built upon, both locally and globally is one of the main reasons we are using technology in schools.

    The documentaries your students are making look to be a very engaging part of the process, but I think that even more importantly, they are acting as a reflective piece that will motivate them to go into more depth with their ideas and thoughts. As they are doing this as part of a global approach, will other students from around the world have the ability to comment and give feedback to the students? I think this could be very empowering as well.

    I think the amount of ‘think time’ you are giving your students is also very beneficial and will help with bringing out the teacher, innovator and creative artist in all your students.

    Great work!

    Rob D

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