As technology takes hold in the classroom, educators are constantly shifting tactics, experimenting with new tools, and trying to connect with students. That’s far easier said than done, but effective teachers know that education at its best is a human endeavor. What technology can do, as Laura Moorhead writes for the TED blog, is support teachers as they push students to problem-solve, discover information on their own, and make meaning out of the world around them. Moorhead writes:
“Use technology to nudge students away from looking for confirmation for what they already know. Instead, challenge them — encourage risk and confusion that can’t be solved with a few clicks. Find learning technologies that identify and push against a student’s cognitive gap, that space between what a student knows and doesn’t know. Then serve up an appropriate next step (and no, not “helpful hints” that give away answers). You’re looking for the Goldilocks factor, says Elizabeth Bonawitz, a professor of psychology at Rutgers: Keep learning challenging, but not impossible. Look for technology that uses questions to foster curiosity and the joy of discovery.”
Bringing technology into the classroom often winds up an awkward mash-up between the laws of Murphy and Moore: What can go wrong, will – only faster. It’s a multi-headed challenge: Teachers need to connect with classrooms filled with distinct individuals.