This week I’ve been working on a Family Media Timeline project, using the amazing (and free) Timeline Tool from the Knight Foundation (@knightfdn) to create an interactive website our family and friends can use to browse through iMovies and Flickr photo albums dating back to 2000, right after iMovie was first released by Apple. In the course of sorting through old video projects, I found a technology integration video from 2003 I’d completely forgotten about which is interesting to watch and analyze 16 years later.

This 8 minute video features interviews with students and teachers at (then) Bennett Intermediate School in Frenship ISD, in Wolfforth, just outside, Lubbock, Texas. It’s separated into 3 sections I’ve also hyperlinked via clickable YouTube timestamps in the video’s description on YouTube:

  1. 0:00 Clickers for Lesson Quizzes
  2. 2:20 Dana Alphasmart Keyboards for typing essays
  3. 4:23 History Research Using Internet Websites

Some of the things which stood out for me in this video were:

  1. These were the “pre-YouTube and pre-Smartphone” days. YouTube was created 2 years later and really started to take off in 2006. At that point teachers and students could not and were not either watching or creating web-based videos, for the most part. iMovie was just 3 years old.
  2. These were also the days before interactive whiteboards / SmartBoards and even data projectors in classrooms. Notice how small the console TV was in the corner of the classroom! That was pretty cutting edge for 2003.
  3. From a pedagogy / lesson design standpoint, I’m most impressed with the third teacher and segment, in which students are broken into teams for research on the American Revolution, and they’re preparing presentations they will share with classmates to teach each other.
  4. One of the more thought provoking student comments is the girl who says she doesn’t like using Google very much, because it gives too many results. (Oh my, where are we today with that sentiment…)

This video could be used with pre-service or in-service teachers to discuss technology integration, and analyze the lessons using a technology integration framework like SAMR, Triple E or TPACK. Even though it’s 16 years later, I think many teachers still struggle with the use of technology in the classroom moving from a substitution / replication level to a transformational level. Better questions to consider when evaluating these lessons than, “Is this a good example of technology integration?” are:

  1. What kind of thinking do students demonstrate and reflect? (lower level or higher order?)
  2. In what ways is technology used by students to make their thinking visible?
  3. How are students using technology to “show what they know with media?”

When analyzing, thinking about and discussing technology integration examples, it’s important to move beyond simple bad / good judgements. Like teaching and learning, the process of learning to effectively, powerfully and transformatively integrate technology tools into classroom lessons is both a journey and a process. It’s also a situation where TECHNOLOGY TOOLS MATTER. Without YouTube, fast Internet connections and mobile technology tools like smartphones and iPads, media creation options for students and teachers are much more limited. Yet whatever tools are or are not available, deep THINKING and ENGAGEMENT with both ideas and others are possible as the learning is guided by an outstanding educator. This is why PEDAGOGY MATTERS.

For more on these topics of technology integration, check out:

  1. My “Show with Media” digital literacy media creation framework
  2. Harvard’s Project Zero resources on Visible Thinking
  3. The Triple E Framework website for measuring the effectiveness of technology integration

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