Saturday, 28 December 2013

Don't underestimate the teacher in the edtech classroom

Just recently with a year 4 class I introduced a project involving

"creating a digital game using the App Hopscotch".

It was a magnificent project with our students learning many things, including higher level thinking skills. I designed the project, demonstrated the basic skills of the hopscotch App and made sure I had lots of opportunities for students to collaborate with each other.

Watching this was amazing. The unit was basically running itself. I decided to conference some students who I thought were struggling and run some sessions with them.

At the end of the unit it was time for each student to show me their game, and receive a mark based on the detailed criteria. What did I discover?

Those students I conferenced with did far better than my tech savvy students. See we all know the importance of feedback and goal setting. The students who I conferenced with did just that. They were able to identify issues, problems with their learning and set goals and identify students and adults in the class who could help their learning. This doesn't come natural to the students and needs to be fostered and encouraged. I can't think of an App that individualises learning for young students like this!

We should never understand the importance of the teacher. As Hattie states (through his extensive research) Teachers are still the most important element in a child's learning!

Yes students can learn independently, but we should never fall into the habit of assuming technology (or the App) will teach our students. The teacher brings about taking the learning to the next level and this should never be forgotten.

My coding tutorials on YouTube can be found:


About Paul:
2013 Finalist - International EdTech Digest Awards Recognition Program honoring tools, trendsetters and leaders in the education and technology sector. The distinguished awards program recognizes outstanding solutions―and the best and brightest minds―in education and technology.

2013 Finalist - EduBlogs Life Time achievement award.

Apple Distinguished Educator Class of 2013. Paul is a leader in the implementation of Augmented Reality in schools to improve learning outcomes, Professional Development of staff with integration of ICTs, and has expertise in the implementation of mobile devices into pedagogical frameworks.

The Tellagami Project (Presentation)
Teaching students to code on the iPad (iBook)
Augmented Reality in Education (iBook) 
10 Amazing lessons for the iPad Classroom (iBook)
Formative Feedback for Learning and Science AR (Apps)

"Paul, you are a real Leader" - Dr Heidi Hayes Jacobs, author and internationally recognized education leader known for her work in curriculum mapping, curriculum integration and developing 21st century approaches to teaching and learning.
"Paul we designed iBooks Author to be a tool that teachers could use to create content that they develop for the classroom and can share with the world. It is great Paul that you have been using it that way to great success." - Philip Schiller - Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing.

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