Monday, July 30, 2012

Using Technology to Enhance Dialogue

Using Technology to Enhance Dialogue

by Jenny McFerin, OSU Literacy Collaborative Trainer

Just the other day, my children (Abby and Connor), along with my niece (Quinn), were playing. They started off playing school. During their play I noticed how they were effortlessly using their electronic devices to enhance the learning at ‘school’. For the announcements, the principal had her iPad which helped her give the weather report. The teacher used the iPod to create a list of assignments the class would have to complete. The student used the iPod to research ocean animals (the area of focus for the day). Then, something happened at ‘school’. Everyone scattered, each with an electronic device in hand…one upstairs, one downstairs, and one outside. The conversations were deep and engaging. From iPod to iPad they discussed via video chatting how exactly this problem at school would get solved. Once the issue was resolved, the electronics went by the wayside and they came together for lunch and finished their ‘day at school’.   Later that night, I read this exchange that took place between Quinn and Abby:

Quinn:   I miss u!

Abby: I miss you to

Abby: Can I fas tim you

When we think of opportunities for talk in the classroom we traditionally use talk in whole group, small group, triads, or partners. Nothing can replace looking eye to eye and speaking. Children need to learn how to engage and be social with peers and adults.   

Children also need to learn how to appropriately use technology. Consider the power of conversation and engagement when technology can be used. 

As you prepare to welcome a new class of students into your classroom, how might you use technology to enhance dialogue?

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