I was lucky enough to be in the audience for Digital Learning Day Live! this year. There were plenty of quotable moments and best practices for doing more with technology in classrooms. But my favorite moment came from Oliver at Community Middle School in West Windsor Plainsboro.
Let’s get one thing straight: Oliver is the man. When asked what he needed in the classroom from teachers to use technology and enjoy the maximum learning experience, Oliver dropped this: “We need for teachers to allow us to fail, because failure leads to success...We also need teachers to provide us with group projects to teach us collaboration and challenges in these projects that teach us persistence. Not challenges that can be solved just by going through a textbook, but ones that need us to work together and think.”
Right? Go Oliver! This answer highlights the reason we should be looking at ways to leverage technology in classrooms -- learning potential for students. Not because we can. Not because it’s interesting. But because technology presents new and important opportunities for collaboration that support project-based learning and problem solving. And yes, this model means failure happens.
But if we listen to Oliver, we’ll understand that maybe that’s a good thing.