Skynet Can’t Do This

According to this morning’s keynote- Chris Dede from Harvard- the two skills that machines will never be able to do better than humans are decision making and complex communications.  While this certainly provides me with a bit of comfort from my ongoing fears of a Terminator-esque universe in the near future,I ‘ve been struggling a bit over the last few days with how technology could help us to do these very human things.

In my experience, connections are more likely to be impeded by technology than supported by it (anyone who’s ever tried to get a 9-year-old boy to answer a question while he’s playing Super Mario Cart can attest to the truth of this).  I don’t have it all worked out yet, but I think that a big piece of this is in getting familiar with the tools- playing with them until we’re as comfortable with them as we are with our phones or our cars- through the lens of instruction, inquiry, problem-solving and learning theory.

Step one, however, is getting the technology.  Using it with a bit of fearlessness, and  being willing to engage our students in the process of using these tools to reach for higher level instruction.  Who’s with me?

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