This was a phrase that got tossed into our conversations from time to time in grad school. It’s a silly play on the famous phrase from the 1992 Presidential election. When you spend the majority of your time talking and working with other Instructional Technology doc students, it’s easy to get sucked into the technology black hole of creating and tweaking new technology tools for teachers and students. There is definitely a time and place for new innovations, but sometimes the most appropriate solution to an educational problem lies in an innovative use of an existing tool. Almost every one of our conversations came down to this point: It’s not the tool so much as what you (the teacher and/or students) do with the tool. Along these lines, the concept of repurposing resonates with me.
Anyway, I read a post today by Dan Meyer that reminded me once again that technology is really only as good as the teacher who is using it. I won’t recap the entire post, but the conversation just goes to show that a teacher can find ways to make a very long video of water being poured into a tank engaging to the students. This also reminds me of the Clark and Kozma debate, though the conversation highlighted on Meyer’s blog is much less about the technology and more about how teachers use media and their students’ responses to it.
The take-away message for me? Don’t underestimate the art of creative and innovative teaching.