Monday, April 7, 2014

Tracy's Tuesday Tech Tip: Lessons in Redefinition

If you are a reader that knows me personally, you probably know that I'm a big fan of rock climbing. When you think rock climbing, you might think that it is a lot about upper body strength. And I'd tell you that part of it is; however, a bigger part of it is your feet and technique. If you have technique, you'll make the climbs and figure out the puzzles on the rocks.

One of the hardest lessons for me occurred this past weekend, when trying a harder route grade in which I needed to redefine a certain move to get to finish the route. Rather than making the most efficient move, I was making more work for myself instead of just stretching to the finish. While I haven't conquered the route yet, and have a couple bruised ribs to show for decking a few times, I am definitely beginning to see the change and the progress in redefining how I climb with better technique, as both my spotter and my friends encourage me each attempt.

Essentially, redefining our instructional practices takes the same venture as this climbing route: we look at how we're currently doing things in our classrooms and make adjustments for new opportunities and learning for our students. Infusing technology into our practices helps us to do just that, in engaging our learners to a new level of inquiry, constructivism, and creation and demonstration of their learning. Just think about how an Explain Everything presentation can show student understanding of math, music, a science concept, or more. Perhaps creating an interactive and responsive quiz on Kahoot (shared last week) could be the way to go. Or how about some QR Codes with a reading to which learners can respond? 

While it's definitely hard for me to think "outside of the box" in rock climbing as I try to complete my route, the end result will be worth it when I grab hold of the finish. The same can be said for our students when, with technology integration, they grasp a new concept or idea to a deeper level we never knew before. Together, we may have a few falls before truly taking off, but as a learning community of educators, we are always working to encourage one another in any attempt. Try something to truly redefine your instructional practices and something new for your students.

The finish will be amazing. Take a chance. Share your story. Collaborate. Innovate. Inspire.

Core Apps & More: Check out Tony Vincent's Websites Learning in Hand for two free eBooks about redefining learning - with spotlights on many of our core apps! Definitely worth the read to start sparking ideas and new project designs for our learners.

Web 2.0 Tools: Found this really awesome article about favored Web 2.0 Tools for educators - definitely a nice hub of knowledge and a good starting place: Teacher's Favored Web 2.0 Tools

Innovative Practices: Keep innovating. Keep redefining. Keep transforming. You're doing it. Start small, start with one technique. You have all of our encouragement along the way.

What are your ideas? Reflect, Share & Comment!!! We welcome your questions, reflections, ideas and shared collaboration as we work to make a difference in the lives of our youth of the next generation!!!

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