Monday, October 3, 2011

Technology Changes How We Teach

I wrote my Master's thesis in 2002.  The topic was professional development for technology integration.  Think about how technology has changed since 2002. It's mind-boggling!

The main aspect of my research revolved around ACOT -- Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow.  Around the turn of the millennium Apple selected a handful of classrooms around the USA to be ACOT classrooms.  Each teacher and student in these classes were given two desktop computers: one for school and one for home.  The teachers were not told what to do or how to teach, but of course were encouraged to use the computers as much as possible however they wanted.  They were to record their thoughts and feelings and frustrations and happy moments.  They also provided support and allowed the ACOT teachers to converse on a regular basis.  The Apple researchers just sat back and watched.

An odd thing happened that most people didn't anticipate.  Every teacher wound up changing teaching styles. Even the most traditional among their ranks became more and more progressive.  Instead of rote learning and teacher-led lessons, more and more project-based real-life learning was happening.  Students were collaborating together more than ever before.  

These iPad initiatives are really a lot like ACOT 10-12 years later.  Teachers are finding themselves with portable easy to carry computers in their hands.  Collaboration is easier than ever before with all sorts of social networking available.  

How will your classroom look different this year than it did 10 years ago?  Here's an interesting article to chew on...

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