We have laptops…now what? Using Digital Bloom’s Taxonomy

It’s an exciting time. Your students all have shiny new laptops and have promised to stay firmly within the guidelines of the acceptable use policy they ALL read, understood, and signed. The world is now your oyster and you can bring just about whatever you want to your students’ horizons. But how on earth do you choose what to do? There is a lot of sifting to do.

As always, my first suggestion is to breathe. Remember, you are GOOD at what you do already. You know the content that you want your students to attain. You have the pedagogy firmly within your grasp. You have the larger body of knowledge in mind so the big picture doesn’t get out of focus. It’s now time to figure out where the technology fits.

Did you know you have just made a stab at working through TPCK? TPCK is a model of integrating technology. It  stands for Technology/Pedagogy/Content/Knowledge. (Clicking the link above gives you a good venn diagram of how they fit together and a much more comprehensive article explaining the model). What I like about this model is that it keeps the content and the pedagogy at the forefront and makes us choose the technology that best supports the work that we want to accomplish.

The tough part is choosing the technology that best suits the job at hand. Once again, someone ELSE has done the heavy lifting. Check out this site by Andrew Churches, a middle school teacher from New Zealand. In particular, look at the way he has created a matrix that shows the Blooms Taxonomy that we know. He has added the technology tools that will help support the learning you want students to achieve.  This site also has rubrics for just about everything!

And now a caveat. There is a temptation, when armed with a hammer, to treat everything as if it is a nail ( apologies to Mark Twain). How does this apply? You are already good at what you do. Not everything is made better with technology. (there, I said it).  However, if you choose to use technology, it’s important to know what the benefit might be.

That’s where the Blooms Digitized Taxonomy comes in. Working at the Analysis level? Think about having your students make entries into a blog and tag those entries so that others can see the connections between the content and the areas that that content relates to. Starting at the remembering level? Have students look through the iTunes podcast directory and subscribe to those podcasts that will be useful to them. Working at the creating level? Students can produce their own podcasts, publish blogs, or develop wikis. You are limited only by your willingness to try something new.

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