What helps us truly understand student engagement and motivation? Hitting the streets and catching the beats…opening our ears without fears…listening to the ones who are getting it done. Whatever the clever phrasing may be, it’s all about having open and honest dialogue with our students. After all, especially at the middle school, they sure have an opinion and love to be heard! As I was dialoging with a colleague about TPACK (http://tpack.org/) and the critical evaluation and thought that should go into technology integration, I was left as I usually am after discussing TPACK, like a Glowworm. That’s right, you remember the toy! My cheeks were that rosy red and aglow. My hands were resting with precision on my temples, trying to pull some genius statement out that could possibly encompass my enthusiasm for the fabulousness of TPACK. As usual, I just couldn’t find the words. However, I did find an idea in that moment. An idea that made my Ed Techie heart beat an insane rhythm and compelled me to email Punya Mishra and of course call my mom (of course I waited until the school bell rang, but it was a close call).
I thought, let’s put TPACK in the hands of the teens! Why not?! One of the teams at school had just asked me to teach a technology enrichment class. I would have a group of 7th graders that met every other day. We would meet for four sessions, then I would receive another group of 7th graders. I would go through this rotation three times and then have my first group back. This was the perfect opportunity to roll out my teen TPACK idea.
Curiosity consumed me…how would they handle it and what would they do with it? This blog will serve as a reflection portal for our journey!