Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing–Perfect!

Teachers who are masters of instruction in an area have a feeling of comfort in the classroom.  I have learned that these types of teachers may be more likely to teach in different ways, and more likely to accept work in different ways.  Mastery of an area of instruction isn’t everything, but it sure helps.  I am reminded of the saying “a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.”  The thinking is that knowing a little about something and then doing something with it could mean you don’t know enough to get yourself out of trouble.

Except in the area of educational technology.  In some cases I think it might be enough that teachers are aware of what software can do, model a little bit of how it works, and then let students get at it.  
In recent visits to classrooms, I have been modelling the use of OneNote for students to create projects.  After I have helped the students get started with the software, if I taught one person one thing (right click vs. left click) that person answered the question when it came up again.  The teacher in the room focused on creating groups that worked, brainstorming topics, providing starter questions, and modeling thinking like a researcher.  If we had a technology question after the first 30 minutes, we dragged other kids in to solve it. 
It’s true a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing, but when it comes to educational technology, it could be a “disruptive” thing.  And sometimes that’s a good thing.

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