The reference here is, of course, to the book of Ecclesiastes in which Solomon, the teacher, states, "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun."

That passage came into focus for this teacher one day recently when I began thinking about thinking. In my observation of education I continue to see rote memorization of content practiced as the goal, much more frequently than I see students involved in understanding the learning process and how to problem solve, or think.

After being involved with bringing technology into a school for fifteen years now, I reflect on how much has changed,  yet how little.
All I want from technology is for it to be a worthy tool to foster thinking and curiosity and love of learning for our students. A lot has changed, but not enough of the pedagogy that must change to make the money we spend on technology worth the investme


The kind  of pedagogy, or perhaps, better states as an educational philosophy, is not new. A few quotes I'd like everyone in education to have on their walls are these: "They know enough who know how to learn." (Henry Adams) Wikipedia tells us that in his most famous book, Education, Adams introspectively laments that his traditional schooling did not prepare him adequately for the rapid changes in technology that he saw in his lifetime - most of this lifetime being spent between the Civil War and WWI.
I feel that teaching children how to learn refers to the process of learning that they need to develop and use, and even articulate, in order to survive in the 21st century world.

The second quote deserving a place on an educator's wall are Einstein's
words, "Information is not knowledge."  Rote memorization of content to fulfill testing requirements may be necessary in education, but it should not BE education.

I'm known by my peers for my use of technology within my classroom, and those who may not yet understand may think of me as the technology person. I do understand that perception, but those that know me well know that I am far more teacher than technologist. Thus, I'll close with my own favorite saying about my career and endeavor to reach students and teacher alike though the technology tools at my disposal:
It's not about the technology; it's about the learning!"



 


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    Gail Potratz

     Teacher at heart and wife of Phil, who was a partner in my favorite teaching experience of all, raising our three children.

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