flickr photo by Rexton shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

flickr photo by Rexton shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

At the beginning of December 2015 the IB published a new document online, Teaching and Learning with Technology. You can read the whole document online as a web page, or download an executive summary as a pdf file.

The first paragraph of the summary introduces readers to the premise: “With technological change comes new environments to navigate, new sets of skills to learn and, as a result, curriculums to develop. Across the globe, educators are seeking innovative ways to redesign classrooms and implement curriculums that are responsive to societies that are increasingly connected and fast moving. Teaching  and  learning  with  technology has been developed to support school leaders, educators and specialists as they engage in policymaking, strategic thinking and curriculum design, and as they meet pedagogical challenges resulting from emerging technologies.

After a brief presentation discussing “what is technology”, the document looks more closely at understanding, policies, and frameworks of technology: “ The IB has focused on three types of resources to aid schools. Understandings are the terminology and principles that IB schools should share when discussing technology, policies are the evidence of our schools’ development of good practice and pedagogy, and frameworks are clear, visual and conceptual ways of thinking that students and educators can use to plan for technology use. “

Even if you are an experienced techie, I would urge you to read the executive summary first, to get an overview of the document, and then plunge into the web page html publication, which is much more detailed.  You will find exposition, examples and guidelines for your own work for each heading.  There is also a glossary and bibliography.

In the Guide of Basic Principles section, Technology Literacy is defined and contextualized: “Technology literacy is a combination of acquired knowledge, applied knowledge and reflection on both. In this way, technology literacy mirrors the IB inquiry, action and reflection cycle common to all IB programmes: thinking, doing and reflecting all inform one another.”

The sections on Frameworks and Mindsets lead the reader through what might be a maze of new ideas and vocabulary, difficult administrative paths, and/or challenging pedagogical thoughts. “Technology integration and implementation is challenging as well as exciting. The success or failure of any effort to introduce new technologies is dependent on how the community accepts them. This is not a passive process, however: school leaders and proponents of technology use can positively affect the outcomes of their efforts by carefully considering and fostering new mindsets in students, fellow educators and other members of the community who are impacted by changes to teaching and learning. While new devices, software and apps can bring energy to the classroom, it is the attitudes of teachers and learners that make their implementation transformative.”  (This is often an extra challenge in schools with students aged 3 through 21 years!)

Be sure to read the stories from four IB schools:

Coaching, peer mentors and student leadership teams—developing a pathway for growth and innovation By Nick Kwan High School (HS) Technology Coach and Head of Department at the American School in Warsaw

Technology in the design of library space by By Philip Williams Librarian at the Vientiane International School

The story of my movie: Exploring the role of images and memories in documenting a point of view By Manasvini Nayanara Teacher, theory of knowledge (TOK) from Oakridge International School

Technology connectivity and development —laying a strong foundation for growth and innovation By Santha Kumar ICT Director at the International School of Tanganyika