3 Ways to Encourage Higher Order Thinking with Technology

As a teacher, I relish the days of summer because I am given the opportunity to learn, rethink, design, and fine tune my teaching with the hope of being able to inspire students and teachers in the coming school year. This summer I have fully embraced the SAMR model of tech integration, fine tuned my ability to align learning experiences to the CCSS and discovered some new flexible and digital tools along the way. Now it’s time for me to think about helping teachers embrace the changes that are necessary to encourage and develop students who are deep thinkers, creators and collaborators. A quote from Justin Reich on MindShift comes to mind

Thoughts from MindShift via Kwout

“One simple way of understanding our pedagogical theory of iPads is that we dn’t want them to just become replacements for notebooks and textbooks, we want them to be objects to think with. We want students using them to mess around with the world around them and their courses of study.”

Thinking with technology and messing around with the world for learning

Here are three ways for teachers to prepare to design learning experiences that encourage higher order thinking through the use of technology as a tool for learning.
Develop a digital toolkit
Explore and play with digital tools yourself to see how each one allows you to express your thinking, then add them to your personal digital toolkit. Introduce efficient tools to students through digital playlists and guided learning resources for exploration. A good place to start is by creating a simple digital playlist with MentorMob. Collect resources with the click of a button and let students explore them live within the playlist.

Design flexible learning experiences

Grab your toolkit, embrace Essential Questions, then build lessons around them. Adopt an online learning platform and publish collections of curated content easily. Why not create a Wikispaces Classroom of live resources for students? How about using a Padlet Bulletin Board to collect student feedback?

Get out of the way and let students create 

You can take it one step at a time by working your way up the SAMR ladder and making each stage count along the way. Set high standards that include the CCSS and 21st Century Skills development. Helps students learn to engage in everyday research to find information, understand it and use it in original ways to construct knowledge and present information and ideas. Get out of their way and experience the benefits of the learning partnership in your classroom.

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