How would you respond to a parent who is convinced that having an iPad in the classroom will make her child less smart?
‘What’s to stop him just looking up answers instead of using his brain?’ she asks.
I explain that education isn’t just about ‘knowing the answers’ any more, since ‘answers’ tend to be readily accessible to all. It’s more about learning how to ask questions and to find, interpret and critically analyse the answers. It’s less about remembering facts and more about conceptual understanding. It’s less about knowing stuff and more about knowing how to learn...
Half an hour earlier, my presentation had, I thought, included wonderful examples of ways technology has enhanced learning; kids ‘using their brains‘ not just to ‘find answers’ but to apply their knowledge creatively, such as…
- videos created by kids demonstrating their understanding of mathematical concepts.
- animations in which learners have applied knowledge and skills in a second language.
- connections with classes in other parts of world, via Skype and blogs.
- an exciting inquiry in which images of plants growing in different environments were gathered from contributors around the globe.
- students writing, creating and sharing their own iPad books. (link to simple version)
- a host of images showing learners engaged in a range of trans disciplinary skills.
But this parent remains unconvinced.
What more can I say?
Below: Some images of kids ‘not using their brains’…