Friday, July 09, 2010

Do You Get IT? . . . . . . . . What is IT?


I have had a number of discussions lately with people about people who "Get IT."  This has to do with hiring people who "Get IT" or working with people who "Get IT" or helping other educators "Get IT."

The $64 question is . . .  "What is IT?"

IT can mean a lot of things in the context of education:
IT can mean Information Technologies.
IT can mean Instructional Technologies. 
 IT can be the name of a wonderful book by Stephen King.

But NOT in this case. In this case, IT refers to a new paradigm for teaching and learning. 
It has to do with using technology to provide previously elusive opportunities for learners.
It has to do with a new perspective on teaching by empowering students through providing them challenge-based learning opportunities.

But . . .             What Do YOU Think?

How do you describe IT to your colleagues when you are advocating IT?

Please tell me what you think?  Leave your comments on your perception of IT. 
Let's see what the Blogosphere of educators who read this blog believe.

6 comments:

  1. Steven Hopper9:40 PM

    Awesome question. I've been thinking alot about this idea since we met this morning. Call IT an awakening. It's the realization that existing teaching paradigms no longer meet the demands of a global, digital age. It's about putting the student at the center of all decision making. And above all, it's about embracing technology as a way to reach out to all learners.

    What is IT not? Trying to "power down" students at the schoolhouse door. We will never close Pandora's box on this, so we have to awaken to the fact that it WILL change what we do. Thanks for the stimulating thoughts!

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  2. Leigh,

    What a great question! :)

    I believe that IT is changing how we are teaching and learning. IT's focusing on creating, connecting and collaborating with others in the school environment, community and around the world.

    IT is focusing on giving students the opportunity to their passions and to make learning personal and exciting. To teach them to think, lead, and serve in the 21st century.

    As an educator and advocate for IT, I hope that others continue to embrace IT and change for our students!

    They deserve IT!

    Shannon McClintock Miller

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  3. When I read your question, my first thoughts were, "This is the learning revolution" and "This is a paradigm shift to thinking about LEARNING more than SCHOOL." Other ideas which come to mind:
    - We're all learners. Sometimes we're expert learners, sometimes novice learners.
    - Learning can happen 24/7.
    - Our paradigm of education has largely been "sit and get." Learning today is much more about "come and get" as well as "come and share."
    - My favorite 3 words to share what this new model of learning is about are create, communicate, and collaborate. Inherent in the "collaborate" idea is SHARING. We need to share more. We need to be more "fearless sharers."
    - Project Based Learning (PBL) is at the center of the new learning revolution. PBL isn't new, of course, but it's a revolutionary proposal in many of our traditional educational contexts today.

    A few thoughts. Great question! :-)

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  4. This is a great question. I've had several conversations with district and school-level technology specailsits. The first idea that came to mind about this question of "IT" was my recent Twitter posting: "We need to get over the inertia to move beyond what we've been doing." I explain to teachers and administrators that we need to make changes to both learning environments and instructional delivery methods in order to engage our students and prepare them for the 21st century. Regardless of how long one has been teaching, we are no longer teaching in the 80s and 90s. It is 2010. Today's learners need to be engaged and curriculum needs to be authentic. Students can not simply be consumers of knowledge. They need to also be contributers. In short, getting "IT" means that educators can not simply acknowledge that todays teaching and learning environments needs to change, it is actually doing something about it in the classroom. Teachers need to let go of this idea that "I (as a teacher) need to have complete control of the learning environment." In the 21st century, the teacher is now the "filter" of content, not just the only source of content. I can go on and on but this sums up my main thoughts on this question.

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  5. Dr. Z,

    I say a hearty AMEN to Dr. Solis's statement, "We need to get over the inertia to move beyond what we've been doing."
    Inert is exactly how I would describe many of my peers at my school. You would think changing and integrating technology was the black plague the way some of them act.

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  6. I think these are all wonderful IT ideas! I believe getting IT requires educators to become facilitators of learning by providing collaborative learning environments where students have opportunities to take control of their own learning. Learning is everywhere, the possibilities are endless.

    I just finished a Flat Classroom Workshop today with Julie Lindsay and the resources she provided in these 2 days alone are capable of bridging and motivating students in ways I couldn't have imagined before.

    http://flatclassroomworkshop2010.flatclassroomproject.org/

    We Skyped with a rep from Taking IT Global. Check it out... www.tigweb.org

    I hope to help IT spread to everyone around me!

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Please share your ideas on this topic.