No longer EITHER OR of Tech Integration: It Is about the MIX

Dr. Milliron was the opening speaker at the Innovate 2017 Conference at Graded School. He talked about these five focus areas to help schools be what he called ‘future ready”.

From these different areas, one that caught my attention and seems particularly relevant to our 1:1 environment schools is the “Next-Gen Build Out”.  We have lived through the adoption of student laptops, Google Docs, cellphones. And I believe many involved may have had mixed feelings about all of the technology. A lot of discussions have taken place about the true meaning of technology integration in the classroom. The old idea of “tech for tech’s sake’ should be dead by now, though it might still be a concern for many.  A strong movement towards placing learning at the forefront of technology integration has carried out such discussions for many years now.

Dr. Milliron summarizes this discussion by saying:

It is not about

EITHER  OR of technology integration

It is about the


So you can see that in Dr. Milliron’s description of the Next-Gen Build Out, what is crucial is knowing how to mix face-to-face, distant learning, tech and paper, synchronous and asynchronous.

Source: Mark David Milliron. Moving into the Next Generation of Learning.

It is not about banning cellphones completely or embracing them all the time. It is not about using laptops all the time in the classroom or not using at all.  It is knowing when and how to use each one appropriately for the best impact on student learning. Learners like to mix and we should learn to balance the mix as well.

As I walk around Graded School classrooms I already see a healthy mix. Laptops with paper and pencil, manipulatives. One complementing the other. Students focused on hands-on and using technology to their advantage, not distracted by it, in well-designed activities.

It is not about typing all the time or only handwriting. Handwriting and technology can also coexist when appropriate. We should not be shy to mix.

Or just keep it on plain paper, if that works best in the situation:

Creative Commons Attribution on Flickr. Sacha Chua.

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