In this post, I would like to focus once again on learner-centered experiences.
When I’m browsing Twitter, I often come across exciting visuals that end up having an impact on my practice. One such infographic that I came across recently was “10 Characteristics of Learner-Centered Experiences” by Katie Martin. Be sure to check it out in her blog!
Her infographic communicates information quickly and attractively, and it got me thinking; What is the role of technology in the learner-centered classroom? In order to explore this idea more, I annotated the original and tweeted it back to @KatieMartinEdu in one of the discussions she had starred about this topic, and the response from my fellow edu-tweeters in my #pln was positive. Here is the marked-up version that I made:
While this tweet was just a quick and spontaneous action on a social media platform, it led to a robust conversation about learning and the role of technology in the classroom. These daily interactions with those in my professional learning network are the main reason why I think every educator should be on Twitter yesterday.
What is the Role of Technology in the Learner-Centered Classroom?
In the learner-centered classroom, you are certain to see many of the actions included in Katie Martin’s infographic on a daily basis. However, technology on its own will never make these actions happen. Devices are inert objects that function as nothing more than expensive pencils if nobody knows how to leverage them for learning. When implemented by a master instructional designer with the requisite pedagogical, technological and content knowledge, technology can be leveraged to enhance, redefine and transform learning opportunities.
In the best-case-scenario for a learner-centered model, the student has their own device (hence the iPad I placed next to the student) and has access at all times to this device and to the world wide web. Even as we acknowledge the importance for learners to experience agency and autonomy within a learner-centered model, we recognize that the teacher is uniquely positioned to determine whether these technologies are transformative or are merely 500 dollar paperweights. The role of technology in learner-centered classrooms is therefore simple: It’s a tool for learning, it isn’t THE learning, and it’s mostly useless without the right human capital.
Questions To Ask Ourselves As Teachers
The “10 Characteristics of Learner-Centered Experiences” infographic by Katie Martin leads me to want to analyze each colorful circle’s place within my own practice. Similarly, I want to make sure that my learners take advantage of the best information-rich tools and resources available, both analog and digital. Here are some questions I think we should ask ourselves, moving clockwise around the infographic:
- How can we leverage technology to personalize learning opportunities?
- How can we leverage technology to develop student agency?
- How can we leverage technology to guide student inquiry?
- How can we leverage technology to facilitate student-teacher-parent-expert collaboration?
- How can we leverage technology to create authentic learning experiences?
- How can we leverage technology for critique and revision?
- How can we leverage technology to facilitate productive struggle among students?
- How can we leverage technology to track goals and increase accountability?
- How can we leverage technology to promote visible thinking?
- How can we leverage technology for student reflection?
What do you think? Do some of these ideas resonate with you? As always, thanks for the visit to educationrickshaw.com, which is basically just two teachers writing posts about teaching and learning whenever the inspiration arises. Feel free to comment below, and join our Facebook group, Over-Posting Educators!
– Zach Groshell @MrZachG