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1. Keep learning goals ahead of the technology.
At the start and end of each school day, ask: What’s the pedagogical goal? “What we’re doing in schooling and in teaching is trying to convey content knowledge, whether it’s music, art, or math,” says Punya Mishra, a professor of Educational Psychology & Educational Technology at Michigan State University. “We’re trying to help learners parse and make sense of the world.” Mishra points to the work of Lee Shulman, who in the 1970s pioneered the idea of “pedagogical content knowledge,” in which good teachers are more than just content experts; they’re experts in teaching that content. Pedagogy and content, Mishra says, can’t be considered independently of each other; the same goes for tech and content. “Part of the challenge with technology,” he says, “is that we see a new tool and say, Let’s put it in classrooms. Tech becomes an add-on, as opposed to integral to the subject.”
2. Opt for the open-ended.
Drill and grill? Yeah, that sounds about as fun as a root canal. Let students surprise you and themselves. Katie Davis, a former fourth-grade teacher who now works as an assistant professor at the University of Washington Information School and recently co-authored The App Generation with Gardner, suggests using technology as a starting point, a way to introduce new experiences and modes of expressions. Opt for flexible technology that draws on a student’s inner resources and judgment and is relevant to them. Query any educational technology, says Davis: “Can students ask, What do I think about this? What direction do I think I should go? The experiences should be open-ended and as non-constrained as possible.” In other words, skip the templates and overly pat apps. Let kids get comfortable with the messiness of life and learning.
3. Don’t let tech make learning easy.
Use technology to nudge students away from looking for confirmation for what they already know. Instead, challenge them — encourage risk and confusion that can’t be solved with a few clicks. Find learning technologies that identify and push against a student’s cognitive gap, that space between what a student knows and doesn’t know. Then serve up an appropriate next step (and no, not “helpful hints” that give away answers). You’re looking for the Goldilocks factor, says Elizabeth Bonawitz, a professor of psychology at Rutgers: Keep learning challenging, but not impossible. Look for technology that uses questions to foster curiosity and the joy of discovery.
*Vocab – Collocation:
- pedagogical goal: mục tiêu của giáo dục
- convey: truyền đạt
- content knowledge: nội dung kiến thức
- pioneer the idea: tiên phong cho một ý tưởng
- an add-on: (thuộc lĩnh vực công nghệ) phụ kiện
- draws on: nhờ cậy đến, dựa vào
- a student’s inner resources: những tích lũy bên trong
- open-ended: không giới hạn
- non-constrained: không bắt ép
- nudge students away from: đẩy …ra khỏi…
- a student’s cognitive gap: lỗ hổng kiến thức
- foster curiosity: nuôi dưỡng sự tò mò
- the joy of discovery: niềm hào hứng khám phá.
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