I have a love for looking at things from different angles and perspectives. And with a topic as large as "education," with all its potential, creativity, controversy, and politics included, it's often fun to look at our field of work in different ways.

Earlier this year, I wrote about the Revised/Revisited Bloom's Taxonomy (RBT), and many of you wrote to tell me that you enjoyed that newsletter. I recently came across another diagram for the RBT based on some literature written for teaching gifted learners. I adapted this diagram to my own uses, and customized it a bit. It's yet another way of looking at RBT through the lenses of activities and products.

Technology Goal Observations

I spoke with principals this week about technology goal observations. Be sure that you communicate with your principal about when you are addressing one of your goals so they can observe your work (either through an observation or by looking at a product you or your students have produced). That goal-setting process has been organized around several constructs, including the Levels of Technology Integration/Implementation scale (LoTI) and the Virginia technology Standards of Learning (SOL).

LoTI is a numerical scale (0-6) that rates many different things about the use of technology: the cognitive level based on Bloom's, the authenticity of the experience (artificial vs. simulation vs. real-world), and where the technology is being used (teacher's desk, or student hands). The basic idea is that technology as a teaching tool is far more effective in more "implemented" classrooms. With the kinds of training we've offered, and the kinds of access we have with technology, finding teachers in the "3" or "4" range  is great for us. Finding some of our teachers who are pushing out into the "5" area is extraordinary.

21st Century Perspective

Before I address the SOL technology areas, there's another little diagram I've run across entitled "What is the role of technology in 21st century learning?" which calls for students to be effective learners, effective communicators and creators, and effective (global) collaborators. When we think about lessons that engage learners with technology, knowing which area we're addressing (I believe) is important.

Preferred Ways of Teaching

And there's yet another framework to begin thinking about our teaching with, too. Which types of activities are we designing into lessons that reveal evidence of learning strategies? That's a lot of words to ask the simple question: what are students doing that we know they are learning? And a related question: which knowledge creation strategies are we using with our students? Do we use a variety of strategies?

Over the coming months, I hope to synthesize all these different ways of thinking about technology's role in education into something more compact and integrated. For now, I turn to our Virginia standards, which were based in large part on the ISTE NETS for Students, and organize our thinking about technology around technology. I offer some example lesson components that fall under the various categories. These lesson ideas could be a "technology lesson" in itself, but more probable, these ideas are a small component within a larger lesson.

I know these diagrams don’t read well with adult eyes. That’s why I’ve linked each one to full-resolution PDFs or to the original source, online.

Thanks for reading!


Did You Know?

Backup Friday!

Talk about forgetting! It’s Friday. And when did you do your last backup?

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