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Posts Tagged ‘amplifies

Some people choose to focus on the positive. Others dwell on the negative. I choose to be realistic.

That is why I tweeted this in response to another tweet.

The original tweet was not wrong, but it was not balanced. It lacked the other half of the story.

Technology amplifies what we can already already do or it enables us to do what we could not do before.

This means that a teacher can reach out to her learners beyond the time and space constraints of her classroom, e.g., online coaching.

But this could also mean that she teaches the same old and irrelevant way with different tools, e.g., from death by PowerPoint to massacre with Google Slides.

All this is not to say that technology plays a passive or follower role to pedagogy. I have explained before why technology integration is not like a pedagogical horse pulling a technological cart; it is more like a car. Educational technology should be seen and practised as an integrated whole.

As current and new technology enables new possibilities — for example, for students to create and share content — so should pedagogy change to move beyond consumption and control.

Most people might see how technology amplifies a teacher’s mindset and practice. The same people might not acknowledge that technology can enable new behaviours. Perhaps we should spend more time and effort amplifying the latter message instead.

The small things matter. So do the little actions. Technology can amplify both.

The local press almost gleefully reported how a Singaporean teenager might have played her part in helping Trump win the US elections.

Hrithie Menon charged S$140 and took two hours to create a Prezi presentation that was “shared across various colleges and university campuses in the US aimed at capturing young people’s votes”.

Trump might describe her an example of a foreigner “stealing” jobs from the US.

I would describe her not as a “digital native” — that was the paper’s overused and poorly understood phrase.

Instead, I would describe her simply as efficiently and effectively using the tools available to her, just as her parents did before her, and their parents before them. The difference now is the reach and impact of the technology she had access to.

The paper listed some of her other tools: Adobe After Effects, VideoScribe, and Instagram. Though different, all the tools have one thing in common — they are tools of creation, not consumption.

While many vendors and schools still push for tools of consumption because they can be controlled and limited, learners of all ages who are unfettered outside of school have found tools of creation on their own.

For example, they learn from YouTube and they create and share on the same. When they do, they extend their reach. The audience is not automatic. The creators learn to amplify their voice, like Hrithie did when she advertised her services online.

The tools are free, the learning is meaningful, and the learner takes ownership. These are just three of many things that those behind the walls of school should learn.


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