Chopped Quickfire

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This Quickfire was an interesting lesson in that we used low-tech material to get to the heart of our readings.  In this Quickfire assignment we were to represent the readings from the night before using the materials that we were given.  Our group had playdough.  Our representation was of 3 rings symbolizing the importance of technology, pedagogy and content or the TPACK model.  We represented the learners in the center of the the three rings to show that everything should center around the child and help to promote his/her understanding. Likewise, we made one of the rings the teacher as he/she is a crucially important the decision making process and the designing of all lessons.  In the TPACK article by Punya  and the Deep Play Research Group in their article titled:  “Rethinking Technology & Creativity in the 21st Century:  Crayons Are The Future (Tech Trends/September/October, 2012), Punya focuses on two myths.  The first myth is:

“Myth 1: The technology tools we have today should drive how we conceptualize teaching and learning in the 21st century. ”  One might think this a great argument for integrating technology into the classroom as these are skills that all students will need to constantly use in the real world just like reading and writing were of the 20th century but as Punya points out that the technology should not drive all of our decisions when it comes to what and how to teach.  Technology changes frequently but we should always focus on best teaching practices and not “throw the baby out with the bathwater” so to speak.

Punya goes on to say that creativity can be taught in any content area.  Technology is simply another venue to access creativity.  Today, we used playdough and it was a way to access creativity and deep thinking about the subject matter.

Myth 2: Creativity can be taught in a content neutral manner

“Creative thought processes are considered increasingly necessary as criteria for accomplish- ment in the progressively complex and interdependent 21st century (Robinson, 2003). Globalization has brought a dramatic increase in knowledge and technology, as well as demographic and social changes in our world (Florida, 2002). This has led to diverse knowledge bases and complicated issues that demand creative thinkers and innovative problem solvers.”  We experienced this first hand as different people in our group were able to add different creative energies to our product. Yolanda had art experience that she brought to the project, Mary had an image from her school’s logo that was a starting point for our idea  and Alexis brought her technological know-how to help make our project a success.  This speaks to the idea that all students bring different “schemas” or degrees of background knowledge to the learning and it is important to honor all of that as it shoots creativity through the roof.

To sum it up,

As Root- Bernstein (1999) notes:

“… at the level of the creative process, scientists, artists, mathematicians, composers, writers, and sculptors use… what we call “tools for thinking,” including emotional feelings, visual images, bodily sensations, reproducible patterns, and analogies. And all imaginative (and effective) thinkers learn to translate ideas generated by these (pg. 11). ”  Moreover, technology is simply a means in which to do this.

Sometimes, I think that teachers lose sight of the pedagogy part.  They are so busy trying to implement the “latest and greatest” that they lose sight of what is really important i.e. the learner.  Last night, I was trying to work on Popcorn Maker.  I spent three hours trying to fit this into my learning.  Finally, after a long and unsuccessful attempt at this application, I switched gears and was able to create something using “Animoto”.  This is a lesson for teachers because anything that distracts us from the pedagogy of teaching is working against the learner.  Everything a teacher does should be a blending of the technology, content and pedagogy.  When one area consumes the teachers time, then the balance of integrated learning is compromised.

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2 thoughts on “Chopped Quickfire

  1. Mary,
    I like how say that technology is another venue to access creativity. It is not the only way to access creativity – nor should it be. We all have many different learning types and styles in our classrooms and need to vary are lessons and activities within those lesson to meet the needs of all students. Your popcorn maker story is so true. I don’t know how many times I have spent hours trying to figure out the “latest and greatest” and then ended up using something I know how to use and was comfortable with. Sometimes you have to look at what is worth your time or what you give you when you invest 3 hours into something – is it worth it? I know that when I spend hours on a new tool I often then end up not differentiating the lesson as much as I would have liked. Great post!

  2. I like how you talked about how each group member brought in a certain “expertise” to your group dynamic. It is important to try to find these in your students so that they can excel. What best sums up the “smashing of the TPACK myth” is your discussion at the end of your reflection. When technology begins to get in the way of pedagogy and learning, it begins to hamper and hinder the learning. I would have like to see you speak more about this in relation to the two Chopped Quickfires, but this paragraph does a good job of demonstrating your understanding.

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