The story appears on

Page B2

September 24, 2019

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Feature » Education

Tools to learn research and problem solving

THE first priority we K-12 teachers have is to establish a positive relationship with all of our students. Our challenge is to prepare our students for a life of learning, growth and collaboration in both formal and informal settings.

To accomplish this task we teach content and skills, model behaviors and employ instructional strategies and tools that maximize the teaching/learning process and foster the teacher-student relationship.

One means through which we build effective relationships while modeling lifelong learning is mastering the educational tools that are most engaging and effective for the task.

Education technology, or EdTech, is a subset of these tools. As with other tools, the focus must not be on the implement itself but rather on the task being accomplished.

As Dr Heidi-Hayes Jacobs, master of curriculum design, reminds us: “Teachers need to integrate technology seamlessly into the curriculum instead of viewing it as an add-on, an afterthought, or an event.”

There really are times when a pencil and paper are the best tools for the purpose. At other times using EdTech tools that make possible the building and analyzing of data sets, constructing and programing of robots, or the crafting of virtual worlds are the best tools.

EdTech tools are worth mastering for the purposes of building relationships and educating young minds. These tools can be employed in powerful ways to create applied learning opportunities.

In my role as a tech coach at Concordia International School Shanghai, I see numerous examples of how teachers incorporate EdTech tools in authentic and purposive ways that enhance student learning.

Take the Big Data class for instance. Here the students participate in the collection and analysis of real-life data sets, such as the school’s air quality index (AQI) measurements. They collect AQI readings from around campus, analyze it and present their findings. In Synthetic Biology students become the scientists.

They pose questions, formulate possible solutions and conduct tests to see whether or not their solutions work in the real world. Students use computer models that predict the likely success of their solutions, and they share their results with experts in the field through both remote and live conferencing. In Aerospace Engineering students build, test, and fly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The important thing to note, is that the digital devices, the software, the models, the UAVs are simply the tools. The research, problem solving and collaboration are the methods through which students acquire and apply real-world experience.

These three examples highlight the necessity of intellectual flexibility, creative problem solving and collaboration. These are the essential skills of our current age.

Alvin Toffler, sociologist and futurist, is quoted as saying: “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

K-12 teachers use EdTech tools to teach 21st century literacy.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend