by Anna Gratz Cockerille
Cornelius Minor, the moderator of tomorrow evening's TCRWP Twitter Chat, is an education technology sage. Cornelius, a longtime staff developer for the Project, has been at the forefront of the push to use technology to enhance (not replace) existing reading and writing workshop structures.
Frequently, Cornelius reminds us: Technology is a tool, not a learning outcome.
In other words, technology just for technology’s sake doesn’t necessarily move students’ (or teachers’) work forward. Instead, Cornelius advises that technology should be used to:
- raise awareness
- ask good questions
- nurture critical thinkers
Technology use should be in the service of creativity, not in the service of distraction. Students might use it as a way to organize information, share a new idea, or engage their audience. As Cornelius says, students using technology should be producers, not consumers. Imagine, then, a writing workshop in which students' writing comes from real moments of their lives, because they collect fodder constantly on their smartphones. Or one in which they are able to tap into local libraries’ databases to research as they write. Or one in which they consider which digital format will best showcase their information.
Cornelius recommends that teachers aiming to ramp up quality of technology arm themselves with the following:
- A wise technology mentor
- A smartphone
- Cloud-based storage (like Google Drive or Dropbox)
- A Twitter account
- A cohort of students who are tech-savvy
Tomorrow night’s chat will set you up for your digitally strongest year yet. You’ll collect a wealth of information and tips just like the above. Cornelius will lead the TCRWP community in sharing ideas for the latest and greatest technology tools, as well as best practices for how to integrate them wisely into a workshop classroom. Prepare for a lively, fast-paced, exciting hour.
Each Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. eastern, The Teacher's College Reading and Writing Project hosts a Twitter chat using the hashtag #TCRWP. Join @misterminor to chat about getting tech savvy to prepare for a strong year tomorrow evening.
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Anna Cockerille is a staff developer, literacy coach, and writer based in New York City. She has taught in K–8 classrooms all over the world in places such as Sydney, Australia; San Pedro Sula, Honduras; and Auckland, New Zealand. Anna has been a staff developer for the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University (TCRWP) and an adjunct instructor for the Literacy Specialist Program at Teachers College. She writes at Two Writing Teachers.
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