I see teachers using cell phones, online collaboration and Senteo Clickers with SmartBoards in ways that make my head spin.
And the gap between the students that have teachers who bring this stuff into their curriculum and the ones that do not leads me to ask the question, “Are we, perhaps, unwittingly creating a gulf of what can be considered “critical classroom learning” between our students simply through the way we grant (or deny) permission to use certain tools when we pass out our assignments?
Does a student who is asked to fashion a digital museum representative of the appropriateness of the N word in Huck Finn get more, the same, or less from the assignment than the student who is asked to write an 3 page essay on the same subject matter?
Does the student who is asked to write a 3 page persuasive essay on why marijuana should remain illegal take more, the same, or less from the assignment than the student who makes a short film based on the very same prompt?
Is it apples to oranges? Does one give more, one less? Are they equivalent?
Should students be free to choose the means of how they express their thinking as long as the thinking addresses the academic objective of the assignment?
Ask 10 teachers, get 11 answers.