“Coach teachers in and model design and implementation of technology-enhanced learning experiences emphasizing creativity, higher-order thinking skills and processes, and mental habits of mind (e.g., critical thinking, metacognition, and self-regulation)” – ISTE Coaching Indicator 2d
If education were merely memorizing facts from a book and repeating them on command, teaching would be a terrible job. But it’s not. Activating the higher-level thinking skills is what makes teaching worthwhile and ISTE Coaching indicator 2d combines this incredibly rewarding aspect of the educational process (for both the teacher and the student) with technology. The marriage is a joyous one and I reflect on this in a couple of posts. In my post Helping Students Help Themselves, I examine Marita Diffenbaugh’s article for Edsurge, “Tips and Tools for Involving Students in Lesson Planning and Content Delivery,” where she looks at using technology to include students in the lesson design process and not only increase engagement, but also foster creativity as students create lessons for themselves. Her tips and tools are a tightly arranged, thematic plan for getting student buy-in and using their creativity to achieve the learning goals. In some ways this approach breaks with conventional ideas about education, but as our understand about what education is changes, this type approach which utilizes technology to engender metacognition will prove invaluable.
I celebrate not knowing and the truly creative process of struggling with the unknown in my post Living in the Mystery: Ambiguity and Open-Ended Questions. It is a treatise on the benefits of open-ended questions and critical thinking. It’s also a piece on how technology is rendering some of our previously-held notions of education obsolete. Just as in the previous post, technology has changed what we know and what we need to know. Grappling with deeper, harder, less-concrete questions and emphasizing the skills necessary to address these questions is what technology allows us to do. Our job in digital education leadership then, is to help teachers understand this and direct them towards the tools to help their students do the same.