ISTE 2015 Poster Presentation
Technology is magic today. I use the following statement with students to illustrate change in technology
I was surfing the internet on my phone and saw a case for my HD camera the size of a matchbox, so I emailed a friend who printed it out at his house.
Not only does this illustrate the change of technology, but it illustrates how magic technology is today.
Yet I once had an administrator (not mine) say "Why do we need a 3D printer? They will just print toys."
Of course the answer to this is that they will conceptualize, design and print a toy according to their passion and leave the project with a grasp of new skills.
In talking about the changes we always talk about for education, we need a hook, a metaphor for the technology reluctant teacher. While we can't get everyone to read Sir Ken, most are familiar with the Harry Potter novels and Hogwarts. That is a way we can explain why we are changing schools to the reluctant among us.
Hogwarts is Project Based Learning. Students create, interact and work within the subject they are taking. The most boring class at Hogwarts is Lockhart's and he is the only professor who is lecture based. Students should get in and work with the subject they are learning.
Students at Hogwarts are able to bring any familiar or wand they want to use at the school. Just because they have an owl and another student has a frog doesn't mean they can't do an assignment. Just because their wand is phoenix feather and another is dragon heartstring doesn't mean they fail. Similarly we need to be adaptable. If a student uses an iPad, a Nexus, or a Chromebook, we need to encourage a student to use the tools they have.
For the past few years gamification has been a hot topic at ISTE. Likewise Hogwarts has student competitions at its core. Students are grouped according to their strengths and then compete on every level. By bringing this element into even the most basic classroom exchanges, the students are engaged and strive harder for House (team) pride.
Students at Hogwarts are not in class every minute of every day. They have time to use the school resources to pursue their passions. This is similar to the Montessori model, Google's 20% time or the genius hour. Students need time in their day to pursue their passion.
Student voice, and choice play an important part in the Hogwarts experience. By using the metaphor of Hogwarts, the school can be an object model for those reluctant to join us in these educational changes to illustrate how the engage the students.