According to estimates by UNESCO, the pandemic caused school closures touching close to 90% of learners worldwide.
This impacted more than 1.5 billion learners in close to 200 countries. Confronted with unprecedented times, we are faced with the undeniable need for systemic change that technological solutions can address and alleviate, to a certain extent.
Technology however moulds itself to the pedagogical practices of the teacher so although it has the potential to bolster innovation in the hands of an adept educator, it is a tool not an end in itself. Let us consider the four-fold approach titled ‘SAMR Model of Technology Adoption’ developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura to understand this point. Starting with simple ‘Substitution’ strategies requiring no pedagogical innovation, replacing didactic tools with technological ones, technology does not change the system it just digitalizes processes and content. For example, text-books are replaced with e-books, in person lectures with recorded lectures etc. It then ‘Augments’ learning opportunities expanding the scope of application while students remain in a passive learning mode. This is the space where most schools obliged to turn to technology during the pandemic, would find themselves.
The question that begets an answer is - can technology significantly change the learning landscape, and how? Coerced into change, can this liberate us to strive for new practices we didn’t have the time or space to consider before? There are no easy answers however if we consider the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy which places creativity at the apex of the learning curve, we might get a hint of the direction in which we can charge forward with our students to help them develop higher order skills and 21st century skills in a changing world with shifting milestones.
The next stage in the SAMR model is ‘Modification’ and ‘Redefinition’, these two catapult the learner into an active posture, giving learners the space to apply what was learnt in unfamiliar situations, infuse outcomes with creativity and communicate their learning with tools hitherto not available in the field of education. It allows educators to significantly alter tasks and design experiences that were previously impossible without it; for example create movies and multimedia documents on transversal subjects, record radio shows with original music on geography, publish e-books on scientific concepts etc.
Discuss the power of creativity in learning with educators from around the country during India’s first #AppleEDUChat on Twitter this Thursday, 24 September at 4.30 pm IST. Join hosts Lissa Chazot (Apple Distinguished Educator) and Sana Noor (Apple Teacher) and share your experience with creativity and technology during distance learning. The hosts will tweet a series of questions over the course of an hour using the hashtag #AppleEDUChat and look forward to a conversation enriched by your unique contributions.