Technology, when used to create content and connect students with authentic audiences, empowers learners and prepares them for jobs that don’t even exist yet. It is critical for schools to facilitate and promote a culture of content creation. Educators that teach students how to use tech tools to actively create content are EMPOWERING these learners by giving them the skills, strategies, and experiences they’ll need as they move into the future.
To begin, schools must work to create an equal balance of content consumption and content creation in their classrooms. Too many school systems have spent millions of dollars to equip students and teachers with the latest tech tools only to utilize them in the wrong ways.
Rows of silent students completing digital worksheets on their Chromebooks or iPads is not what one would call effective technology integration. The digital use divide between passive consumption and active creation must be closed!
Teachers in classrooms should subscribe to the 50-50 Rule of technology integration. If students CONSUME content in the classroom for 25 minutes, they then need to CREATE content for the same amount of time in that classroom. For example, if I direct my students to passively consume content by completing assignments in Castle Learning, IXL or ReadWorks Digital, I must allow them to spend the same amount of time creating content using their devices.
This can be done in a variety of innovative ways including creating How-To Videos for Genius Hour projects, making Google Slides presentations for Iron Chef Jigsaw lessons or writing a new post for the class blog. It’s very important to strike this balance between consumption of content and creation of content on a regular basis. It could also include students putting tech devices away for the remainder of the class and making something in a Makerspace-like environment.
What do you think about the 50-50 Rule of Technology Integration? Would you suggest a different ratio? Please write a reply in the comment section at the end of this post.
Fear = I don’t know if I should share/try/deploy this new tech tool/teaching strategy/business model. It could fail catastrophically!
Exhilaration = I can’t wait to try this out with my students/teachers/employees. This is going to make things so much better!
I used to worry about sharing my work here on this blog and on social media. I was afraid that someone would “steal” my stuff. I imagined that another educator would scoop up my idea and claim it as their own in an article, a book or a tweet. But then I read Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work by Austin Kleon and my mindset was TRANSFORMED!
Mr. Kleon writes that you don’t have to be a genius (I’m definitely not) to share your work. He claims that we should make an effort to share something small every day emphasizing that you can’t find your voice if you don’t use it. Kleon also states that you should stick around and not give up so easily. It takes time to build a following and those of us who have continued to share, post and tweet are reaping the benefits of establishing and maintaining a vibrant PLN (Personal Learning Network).
This quote has inspired me to transform my fear into exhilaration and I plan to reflect on it when the “worry whispers” begin to create feelings of anxiety and doubt.