App-Transcendence: 8 Touchstones for Learning Augmented with Technology

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Reposted from TED Ideas:

“It’s a multi-headed challenge: Teachers need to connect with classrooms filled with distinct individuals. We all want learning to be intrinsically motivated and mindful, yet we want kids to test well and respond to bribes (er, extrinsic rewards). Meanwhile, there’s a multi-billion-dollar industry, in the US alone, hoping to sell apps and tech tools to school boards. There’s no app for that. But there are touchstones for bringing technology into the classroom. With educational goals as the starting point, not an afterthought, teachers can help students use — and then transcend — technology as they learn.

“App-transcendence,” says Howard Gardner, a professor at Harvard’s graduate school of education who is known for his theory of multiple intelligences, “is when you put the apps away and use your own wits, not someone else’s.” To help kids get to that point, Gardner suggests that teachers and parents “ask who created the technology and for what purpose, to what extent is it flexible, to what extent are the data produced going to be used by the manufacturer and the creator? In other words, interrogate the technology, interrogate the software. The existence of it is nice, but that’s not a mandate to use it.”

The following is what teachers (and parents) need to know when looking at the increasingly lucrative landscape of apps, learning systems, MOOCs and hardware. Already, K–12 schools represent a $600 billion market. Keeping up with the deluge of products is impossible and really not all that helpful. Instead, these 8 touchstones — based on research and backed by good common sense and teacher know-how — will outlast any technology life cycle.”

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