Diane Quirk, of “Technology to Empower Student Learning,” posted a comment on one of my rants about the mantra, “Integrate Technology.” I described how I was much happier with integrating contemporary literacy. But Quirk suggests in her comment that perhaps we should reconsider at integrate as well.
My initial response was that there may be some merit to this, but probably not enough to shake things up any more. However, I continued to think about it, and after reading her subsequent blog posting on the subject, decided that perhaps Diane is right.
Maybe, at least in the long run, we shouldn’t be satisfied with simply integrating the new into the old. Of course with the standards-based movement coupled with accountability, we are forced to hold on to a lot of the old. But for the sake of our conversations, and our efforts to form fertile ground for future reform, we might rethink this. Is it mixing the new with the old that our children need in their education. Or do we need to completely reshape the old so that it more appropriately reflects a rapidly changing world and a dramatically different information environment — changing what and how we teach.
When an english teacher institutes blogging into his classroom to help develop better writing in his students, to what degree is he integrating blogging, and to what degree is he changing what and how he teaches. Is he teaching them to write? or is he now teaching his students to communicate? Is he teaching exclusively by teacher intervention? or is he now teaching them through authentic conversation and authentic assessment? Is this integrating? or is this reshaping?
I guess it’s just semantics. But the fertile ground I talked about above, is the conversations we’re having today.
Tik, Jan. “Fertile Rock.” Jan Tik’s Photostream. 21 Mar 2005. 31 Aug 2006 <http://flickr.com/photos/jantik/7061455/>.