This past weekend I was in Charlotte, NC to work with a great group of teachers on integrating more technology into their lessons as part of some blended professional development I was doing for Atomic Learning. I was about half-way through the first half of the morning when a teacher asked me how I get students more interested in doing tech projects. It was then that I explained my secret formula for edtech lessons...
Curiousity --> Investigation --> Skills --> Success --> Passion
Let me explain...
Before I talk about technology lessons I will use this formula with a sport like basketball. Let's say a student goes out one recess and sees other students having fun playing basketball, he is curious to see what all the fun is about. This curiousity leads to investigation, where the students looks into the sport of basketball and starts to formulate questions like, "How do I dribble?" "What's the key?" "What's a 3-pointer?" His investigation then leads to the desire to develop skills like dribbling, shooting, etc. So with the help of more experienced players and a coach he starts to develop these skills and if he gets good enough and sticks with it long enought to get over the learning curve he might hopefully experience success. With more and more experience his success increases and soon he has apassion for the sport. If he was to leave this formula anytime before success, he might never get to the level of passion.
Now take the story from above and plug in any ol' tech project like; podcasting, video production, blogging, etc.
First your lesson needs to peek their natural desire of curiousity.
Then you must make available all of the resources for their investigation.
You must also coach them through the skills they will need to do this edtech project.
Keep pushing so that they experience success and maybe, if you're lucky, they'll get the passion for it. And isn't that why we became educators?
Follow this formula and you will have great success with your edtech projects.
- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke Elementary School