Saturday, January 14, 2012

7 Ways to Learn and Use Technology Even When You Have Very Little Technology or Technology Knowledge

A collaboratively created list.

Project Success Gathering
1.  Curate the Web
Organize your links for students using some of the online tools that make it easy for you and easy for kids.
Jog the Web
Live Binders (Steve Anderson’s binders are a great resources for educators wanted to use technology)
The best thing about these tools is that our links, bundles, “jogs,” and binders can be shared.  Working alone, curating the web is overwhelming – working together, we can each do less better!

2.  Create a Container
Where will you put your collections so they are easy to access?  Wikis are a very easy to create, easy to use, and easy to maintain space – and the best part – designed for collaboration.  Try either pbworks or wikispaces. What makes Wikipedia viable is that it is built and maintained by hundreds of thousands of people.  On our own, a wiki just adds one more thing; when we work together with our colleagues, we can each contribute our strengths and get help where - and when - we need it most.

3.  Keep Deep and Meaningful Learning in Mind
Technology only amplifies the work we do.  Just as we wouldn't tell students to “write a story” and expect quality results, we can’t tell students to “create a PowerPoint” without explicit instructions.  It isn’t enough to show students merely how to add and delete images, for example; more important, they need instruction, for a start, on what makes a good image and how we credit images.  (And let’s put our lessons and the resources for them on a wiki to share, so each of us doesn’t have to reinvent!)

4.  “I Can” Attitude
So often we begin with “I can’t.”  There is a lot we CAN do.  And one of the hardest things to know that we can do:  we can make mistakes, flounder, look like a novice (because we are) and learn out loud with our students.

5.  Support Each Other
We really, really need to find ways to work together, to team teach, to touch bases regularly, to remind each other to take baby steps (and cheer each one!), and to accept - embrace - that learning will be mucky and slow.

6.  Get Students to Teach
Teaching is still the best way to learn deeply.  Students are both familiar with technology and comfortable in that environment: let them teach each other (peer teaching, buddy teaching, partner learning) – and best of all, let them teach us.

7.  Waste Time!  
Leave time for “timewasting.”  Explore. Play. Discover. Tinker. Laugh.  And best of all, waste time together.    


  1. Hi Shelley,

    I certainly appreciate your attempt to use technology in a "minimalist" system. I'm doing the same thing, starting with a homework blog on Blogger:

    Keep up the good fight!


  2. Great, Shelley! Thanks! I think diigo will be helpful with my master's! I also like sqworl :)