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.
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.