“Coach teachers in and model engagement of students in local and global interdisciplinary units in which technology helps students assume professional roles, research real-world problems, collaborate with others, and produce products that are meaningful and useful to a wide audience” – ISTE Coaching Indicator 2c
I consider it truly a blessing to teach current world problems to high school seniors. It has afforded me the opportunity to challenge young adults to consider the complex issues and problems facing the world they live in. It is a course that is constantly changing as problems change and our understanding of the world changes with it, but it is one that is tremendously rewarding. Technology enhances and extends (to use Liz Kolb’s “Triple E”terminology from indicator 2b) the learning goals in direct and meaningful ways for this class. It enables us to better research real-world problems and reach out and collaborate with others to produce meaningful products to a wide audience. Two examples from my coursework reflect this. The first is my Collapse project where I have students examine a current society through the lens of Jared Diamond’s Collapse framework. The project report (see below) outlines the transformative role technology can play in a project of this sort. Addressing real-world problems, utilizing sound research skills, and collaboration are all elements of this project that benefit from the use of technology.
A second project, related to my weekly current issues “roundtable” discussions with the students, also had the potential to take many of these same elements and extend the reach even further to students at another school. In addition to promoting diversity, cultural understanding, and global awareness by using digital age tools (ISTE indicator 5c), the collaborative element for this indicator along with the wider audience gained by including another school provide a tantalizing glimpse of what might be possible with the full application of this indicator.