A Journey Through Technology

Week 8: Can you teach more than you know?

on July 7, 2017

The question this week really made me think about what it actually means to teach in schools today, and where that is headed in the future. When it comes to my content area, in most cases, I know more about chemistry than my students. I use my knowledge to help them learn and understand chemistry. But when it comes to technology, I often feel like my students know more than me, even though I feel very comfortable with most of the technology I use on a daily basis. So how can I hope to teach students how to utilize new technologies that I may not be as familiar with?

This is where I think the role of teacher as facilitator comes into play. In an ever-changing world, I think it would be unreasonable to expect teachers to know everything in their classrooms, but they should know how to help students learn things the teacher may not know everything about. “The challenge for educators is not to dismiss or keep up with students’ latest technological know-how, but to create meaningful learning experiences in which students are taught how to apply their knowledge to solve real-world problems.” (Daggett, 2010) Teaching isn’t as much about sharing information anymore as it is providing a sufficient learning environment for students to discover that information on their own. Makerspaces are perfect for providing this opportunity. I can not even imagine all of the possible creations that students could come up with in a makerspace, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t learning because I don’t now what they are making.

According to the constructivist learning theory, “people actively construct new knowledge by combining their experiences with what they already know.” (Martinez & Stager, 2013, Kindle Location 812) If I can, as a teacher, provide more opportunities for students to take ownership of their learning and construct new knowledge through experiences, learning can become more meaningful. “Creating a classroom makerspace is an opportunity to give students ownership of their own learning as they explore their own passions.” (Martinez & Stager, 2013, Kindle Location 3968)

According to Tina Barseghian (2011), there are three trends that will be key in the future of teaching and learning: collaboration, tech-powered, and blended. Each of these provides an opportunity for students to take the lead in their learning, given the right environment from me as the teacher. “Students are collaborating with each other through social media to learn more about specific subjects, to test out ideas and theories, to learn facts, and to gauge each others’ opinions.” (Barseghian, 2011) Using collaboration, students can learn a variety of things without the teacher being directly involved or “teaching” them. Technology offers multiple platforms for collaboration to occur, and blended learning, or “combining computers with traditional learning” (Barseghian, 2011) also provide students opportunities to learn in ways that were previously unheard of.

Can I teach a student something I don’t know? If “teach” means the same thing as providing students with opportunities to create their own understanding through making and collaboration, then yes, I think I can.


Barseghian, T. (2011) Three Trends That Define the Future of Teaching and Learning. KQED News. Retrieved July 5, 2017, from http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2011/02/05/three-trends-that-define-the-future-of-teaching-and-learning/

Daggett, W.R. (2010) Preparing Students for Their Technological Future. Retrieved July 6, 2017, from http://www.leadered.com/pdf/Preparing%20Students%20for%20Tech%20Future%20white%20paper.pdf

Martinez, S. & Stager, G. (2013). Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, And Engineering In The Classroom. Torrance, CA: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press. Kindle Edition.


3 responses to “Week 8: Can you teach more than you know?

  1. waclawskid says:

    I agree that today teaching is more about what you do with the information you have and not memorizing it. I also agree their is not possible way to keep up with every new trend or technology. I couldn’t do that when I was in IT.


  2. Mariah Smith says:

    It is so important that students are learning to collaborate with each other and other experts in various fields. It truly is important for their future and the jobs they might have. These opportunities we provide because we don’t know what we are teaching are exactly what our students need.


  3. matical4263 says:

    Teaching has always been exposing students to new material and hoping for them to assimilate as much as they can. It is the method of exposing students to the material and the expectations of how much they assimilate that keeps changing. The traditional method of teaching has been what I would call, “Show and Tell”. While that might work for some things, it is not so good for assimilation. With that in mind, I think we can “teach – expose” things we don’t know. I think you have some great ideas here. Good discussion.


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