Saturday, November 6, 2010

Technology Apps - Just do it - no training per se ... new paradigm

I recently attended a Technology for Administrators workshop. The presenter was outstanding, the content was timely and engaging. The format and process made sense! The purpose was to educate educational leaders (mostly school superintendents) on the what, how, etc. of and for today's digital student learning. With inspired and motivated leaders, others in the school system are likely to have more confidence in trying new instructional methods with students. What struck me during the many discussions and small group break-outs, was the concept of "training" ... at one point, I spoke up and explained that many of these technology applications, Web 2.0 apps, if you will, do not require training - they require use.

I am often reminded of the "need for training" as an expectation and/or a barrier toward implementation and acceptance of new educational and instructional opportunities. What sets technology apart from traditional instructional applications, is that in most cases, the technology simply needs to be used ... there is not a "sit and get" type of "training" that is going to yield the type of usage that the students today need, demand, and understand.

I'm saying that "training" is a bad thing - I'm not saying that "training" is un-necessary, what I am saying is that one's notion of training from an old school model, does not fit in today's model of training. Today's model of training looks more like Vygotsky and other constructivist theorists would describe ... doing, scaffolding, sharing, discovering, users creating their own knowledge.

For schools to change - for school systems to change - for INSTRUCTION to change - so must our concept of training. To steal a catchy phrase from a big company ... we simply need to "just do it" and the "training" might just become a learning experience!

TO change - well ....change!

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