I’ve spent 2 of the last 3 days learning from Punya Mishra (@punyamishra). Punya runs the Educational Technology master’s program at Michigan State. He is a great example of a “learner,” a person who reframes everything into the foundational question of, “What can be learned here?”
I expected Punya and his partner in crime, Leigh Graves Wolf (@gravesle), to try to sell me on all of the uses of technology in schools. I was sort of right. But more importantly, they were spreading the word on the importance of the teacher and the teacher’s ability to imagine and create. Yes, you read that correctly, imagine and create. In this data soaked, test driven educational culture full of program driven prescriptions that we currently swim in, Punya and Leigh were pushing the idea that “who” the teacher is actually matters. The teacher’s development as a learner, as a person with ability to reframe, or perceive the world, is the key in the classroom. As Punya says, “Go to Google for information, come to me for wisdom.” He did not say this to laud his own wisdom. His point was, there is a ton of technology out there. There is an incomprehensible amount of data and information at our fingertips. The issue for educators is, so what? How do we make decisions about this? How do we determine what’s important? How do we best use the tools available for deepening student learning? Those questions of value (always prioritized by the values of the individual) don’t just disappear with access to new technology. Our responsibility is to choose consciously and wisely. This can’t be done with the newest program or shiny technology. It can only be done with wisdom. The human aspect of technology use remains more important than ever.
More from Punya