I so enjoyed recording the most recent #XQExpertSeries on Technology and Learning with Mary Ryerse, a former principal, and now Director of Strategic Design at Getting Smart and Nichole Pinkard, Founder of the Digital Youth Network and Associate Professor, CDM School of Design at DePaul University because I learned so much (I certainly hope the audience members did as well). I loved how Mary provided us with a system perspective and identified how various layers of the system help support the use of technology and learning. I loved her depth of understanding Nichole provided all of us on the use of technology for learning, particularly around issues of quality and access as well as what can get lost during implementation. I was happy to simply offer what I have observed and learned on how technology is used in the service of learning from teachers and leaders at schools I have visited, helped start, or featured in my book on Deeper Learning – and that is, start by asking: What do you want students to learn? And then, what’s the best way to help them get there? As a result, I saw students use technology as a regular part of research and discovery, collaboration and team projects, communication with other students and with teachers, organization, self-direction, and demonstration of work. With technology seen as a tool, students were free to be creative, writing blogs and wikis, designing web sites, and producing videos. My favorite perspective on the use technology, however, has come from Science Leadership Academy. The principal, as well as the Technology Coordinator, Marcy Hull always say, “Technology is the air we breathe here. It should be invisible.”
I do hope everyone learned from this #XQExpetSeries as I know I felt fortunate to have my thinking pushed. After I listened to our recording, participated in the twitter chat, and viewed the picture of the three of us that was used for this particular #XQExpertSeries, I was suddenly struck at how unusual it is to see a panel of all women, and two of them of color, to lead a discussion on technology and learning. Thank you for that XQAmerica for the opportunity to be part of such a dynamic panel – there are too many conferences where that is not the norm.