I might be wrong on this. Feel free to posit your opinion and help me figure out what needs figuring.
There is a philosophy of technology in education that says we should afford students the chance to interact and explore specific technology experiences to ensure exposure to the technology. Let me give you an example.
A program could be established at a school allowing all students at all grade levels in the building to engage in a short unit on digital video editing. The unit would be done for the sake of exposing students to the process and skills of digital video editing as many of them may have cause to use those skills in a future class or occasion where they would employ the learned skills. We also want to expose as many students as possible to the process as it may spark an inert interest and fan it into a full flame of passion for the experience, and thus, give cause for the said student to pursue a career in the field of video editing. We also want to make sure all students in the building have the opportunity to have a common experience and exposure, so we’d make sure we work the video editing unit into a rotation outside the general classroom to ensure all students have the experience. If we left it up to the general education teachers, it may well be that some students wouldn’t have the experience as their teachers may not be comfortable with the technology, or have the time, and thus not choose to do a digital video editing experience embedded in their class.
So the philosophy is to have all students work with digital video editing outside the general classroom to give them exposure and skills for the future.
Frankly, I don’t agree with this philosophy. This is where I could be wrong.
I believe we should work to create both an opportunity and cause for teachers to have access to the necessary environment where they use the digital video editing as a means to engage students in embedded learning. Allow an english teacher to dynamically engage literacy by creating a lesson that utilizes this technology. Allow science students to demonstrate scientific principles by creating a video representation of a concept of study. Allow foreign language students to produce a video entirely in the language they are learning.
I believe if we isolate the experience for the sake of affording the experience, we’ve made it solely about the experience and not the learning. Yes, digital video editing is rife with opportunities for learning, but wouldn’t those opportunities be magnified when coupled with specific curricular goals?
To me, the former feels like the “just in case” model we’ve been trying to move away from for a long time. The problem is, if we use the “just in time” of the latter, some students may well not get the experience. But, is that a problem? Do we think every student needs this experience?
Personally, I think we want the latter. This is the epitome of my philosophy of technology. My philosophy has been disagreed with as of late, and I’m wondering if I’m wrong.
Thanks to BAMCAT for the Flickr image.