Teacher Tech blog with Alice Keeler

Paperless Is Not a Pedagogy

Alice Keeler

Bad Reasons to Use Tech: Faster Neater More Colorful

tech better

Bad Reasons to Use Tech: Faster Neater More Colorful

tech better

“The students are so engaged.”

This phrase drives me nuts. Anytime you do something new, the students will be “more engaged.” But is what we are doing “make learning better?” Does this last long term?

The first time students get to do their math problems on a device they may be “so engaged” but ultimately we are asking them to do the exact same task as they were doing on paper. Students taking the same problems from the book and writing out the steps onto a digital drawing surface does not improve the learning. Does this justify the cost of devices, the maintenance, the hassle of tech not working, the new classroom management techniques you have to learn, the PD time?

Check out Ronessa’s Desmos activity that allows students to explore trig functions not just graph them.

How Does This Make Learning Better?

Let’s ask the question. “How does this make learning better?” It is 2016, technology brings a lot of new possibilities that we want to embrace. It is also an opportunity to let some things go. What has technology made obsolete or practically obsolete? Technology is not going to be the savior of education if we are just using it to do the same things we were doing 20 years ago.

I did a lesson where students used Doodle Buddy app on the iPad to graph parabolas. We used the pile of poo sticker (it comes with sound effects) for plotting points. Were my students “so engaged?” You bet’cha. Did they understand parabolas better? No. How many times can you graph with a pile of poo before that gets old?

Let’s not let our student engagement be driven by never ending gimmicks. The novelty of a new program is a not a good enough reason to use tech.

Start with the 4 C’s

A good place to start when using tech is to think about the 4 C’s.

  • Clearly communicate ideas.
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Collaborate

How does the tech allow for students to better engage in the 4 C’s?

More Questions to Ask

How can students make choices?

How can I better differentiate for student interest and needs?

How can I be more flexible to allow the individuals I have in my class the time they need to understand and learn?

How can I use current and relevant events and data?

How can I connect my students to the world?

How can we collaborate outside of these 4 walls?

How can we do a project that integrates the learning objectives that makes the community a better place?

How do students have a voice in their learning?

Bad Reasons to Use Tech

  • Because it is faster than getting out paper.
  • It is more colorful.
  • It’s nifty.
  • It’s fun to use technology.
  • I do not have to use the copy machine.
  • Copy and paste.

5 Easy Steps for Teaching with Digital Tools

Introducing digital tools into your teaching can seem challenging at first. There are many tools out there, and it might feel like there’s a lot to learn. But with easy steps for teaching with digital tools, you can start simply and gradually. There’s no need to dive in all at once – just take it one step at a time. Taking easy steps for teaching with digital tools starts with trying something!

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Maximize student success in presentations with ‘Speaker Notes by AliceKeeler,’ the ideal Google Slides add-on. Enhance how students prepare to present with easy transfer of speaker notes to Google Docs, promoting effective communication skills. Dive into the world of engaging, technology-aided presentations and empower students to shine in their academic endeavors. Discover the key to transforming student presentations into interactive, skill-building experiences.

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New to using Google Forms? This tool is essential for teachers to not only save time but to be adaptive to student needs. Use Forms to survey students, play games, personalize instruction, and assessment. This infographic on the 7 basic steps for a Google Form will help you get started.

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Online Workshop: Get Your Add-on Published

How can you make Google Workspace (Docs/Sheets/Slides) even better? You can create custom Add-ons with Google Apps Script. Wondering How to Get Your Google Workspace Add-on Published? Join Alice Keeler, Google Developer Expert, to learn the steps to get your Add-on officially published.

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