Distracted because of a device?

Eric Sheninger tweeted a provocative tweet.

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Excellent, thoughtful (mostly) replies, comments, and conversation followed.

Then George Couros added to the thinking and conversation via his blog, encouraging us to think about ‘learners’, not just kids.  This would then include educators.

Both of these educational thinkers challenge my thinking and help me grow.  Reviewing the comments from Eric’s original tweet, one of the replies really caught my attention. “The cheating is uncontrollable with devices”. Hmmm.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this ‘cheating’ notion lately.  I’m wondering if we’re asking kids wrong questions if the whole point is ‘an answer’ that can be easily accessed by a device…and then that’s called cheating. Perhaps we need to think of better questions that require better answers.

Another cheating idea that seems tenuous; checking with another kid via a device for ‘the answer’.  Might actually be an opportunity for collaboration if there were better questions.  In a non-school setting, trying to solve a problem, working with other people, is a good thing.

And finally, plagiarism. A biggie. A legitimate problem that is rightfully labeled as cheating.  I wonder how questions might be reworked to develop future (and present) skill needs that require kids to critically think, collaborate, communicate, and create answers, rather than grabbing entire sections of text via a device to answer a question. For example, instead of tasking kids with a question like, “What is the dominant theme in To Kill a Mockingbird?”, we ask, “Use your device to find two conflicting statements about the dominant theme in To Kill a Mockingbird, then discuss the differences.  Be sure to cite your sources.  Which of the statements of theme do you find to be the most credible, in your opinion, and why?”

Lots to ponder.  I love that I’m pondering with others. Twitter and blogging are two of my favorite professional learning resources.

No answers yet, but lots of good questions.  Lots of good opportunities to learn and grow.

And I did all of this using a device.

Author: Jnelson

Jeff Nelson Fife School District Assistant Superintendent:Teaching-Learning-Innovation 39 years as an educator. 16 years teacher 3 years assistant principal 12 years principal 8 years Assistant Superintendent BA, Washington State University MAEd, Washington State University Previous member of AWSP Legislative Committee Previous member of UW Tacoma PEAB, Administrative Certification Established and maintained Fife’s first website for 7 years Present work includes establishing the first Teaching/Learning/Innovation department in the Fife School District. Examples of responsibilities include: teacher/administrator professional development, assessment, TPEP, curriculum/materials review, 24 credit requirement, technology levy leadership, teacher/administrator bargaining. Initiatives underway in Fife, as a result of new TLI Department: AVID, OER, Curriculum and Materials reviews, Student Perception Pilot with CSTP, Google Expedition Cofounder of Educational Internet Communications, LLC. Marketed and sold one of the first online grade checking programs in the US. Consulted with Seattle Educational Internet Company for 2 years. jnelson@fifeschools.com twitter.com/jeffnelsonTLI

2 thoughts on “Distracted because of a device?”

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