Day 28: Should technology drive curriculum, or vice versa?
I could give you a list of reasons why I haven’t done all of the blog challenges, you know, things like taking an intensive online training course, preparing for not one but two teacher workshops, handling a major PD event for my professional organization, but I won’t… (see how I did that?)
Instead, I have chosen a question from the challenge. It poses an interesting dilemma, one which I think already has the answer embedded in the question. I’d guess the majority of teachers would suggest the vice versa approach, i.e., that curriculum should drive technology. This makes sense; you want the technology to fit in with a predesigned curriculum.
I think that the opposite needs to occur, at least for my learners. Mine enter the workforce via a volunteer co-op placement. Within their workplace, the technology that they will need to use includes a Learning Management System (with copius amounts of online training re:health and safety, product knowledge, company policies and procedures). Communications are done mostly via email; communication during synchronous online training is via chat. And that’s not all; my learners need to be able to problem solve and use technologies that we wouldn’t have had access to in class, such as an internal data base search, a program that will match colours for paint, etc.
I originally tried to fit the tech into the curriculum, but now have found it much easier to prepare the course around a LMS, giving the learners plenty of opportunity to use it, to familiarize themselves with it, and to practice in a safe environment (especially the “chat” function, lots of practice in what language is appropriate, etc.)