Better Teaching and Learning in the Digital Classroom
By: David T. Gordon, Editor
Review: This book addresses many questions about how teachers, "…who may not be tech savvy, teach tech-savvy students." Topics include global education, differentiated learning, online distance learning, plagiarism, handhelds in the classroom, and assessment and accountability. In the ten chapters, each written by a different educator, one can find excellent examples of using computers as powerful learning tools.
Other Information: Better Teaching and Learning in the Digital Classroom. Harvard Education Press, 2003. 170 pages. 888-437-1437. http://www.hepg.org.
All of the old writing methods had their drawbacks. What my writing class looks like now is a group of boys sitting around a table, each with their laptop open, and that's exactly the way I want my writing class to look. At The Greenwood School in Putney, Vermont, I work very closely with small groups of middle school and junior high boys, five or fewer to a writing class. Personal laptops allow my students to work independently in ways more adaptable to their individual learning styles, making it is easier for students to develop individual writing processes.
Educational research has shown that simulation environments provide rich learning opportunities in a context in which most youngsters feel comfortable and capable. But teachers often do not know how to utilize these tools. If the teacher did not grow up "digital" he or she may not have a comfort level with the simulations; additionally, teachers may be reluctant to use a tool that seems too frivolous to them or they may be concerned about choosing a simulation game with inappropriate content.
Rather than throw our hands up in despair at how much screen time students have, it might be useful to look at computer games to provide another perspective. Just as a key martial arts strategy is to use your opponent's strength to your advantage, games can be leveraged for great learning opportunities.