to fuse humanity
“Creative uses of technology require us to go beyond ‘functional fixedness’ (the manner in which the ideas we hold about an object’s function can inhibit our ability to use the object for a different function) so that we can innovatively repurpose existing tools toward pedagogical ends.” Unfortunately, often technology is viewed as an automated system, and many believe its very nature limits productive social interactions and constructs barriers. But, if utilized in an innovative manner, technology can be used to fuse humanity rather than to divide it. If we want to nurture students who will grow into lifelong learners, into self-directed seekers, into the kind of adults who are morally responsible even when someone is not looking, then we need to give them opportunities to practice making choices and reflecting on the outcomes. This is done through design-based instruction/projects. Similar to projects within a business, students are taught to assume the role of project manager. They must manage team members, checkpoints, and time. In this way students are better able to understand the importance of their learning and how it applies to the real world.
One of our primary objectives with our students is to not only foster connections with the school district, but our community as well, providing our students opportunities to make connections with the Muscatine community while also highlighting and enhancing public awareness for community events.
When technology is used in a design-based environment, it becomes a tool for expression and authentic application - their audience expanding from the classroom community to a global community. This shift encourages content and standards be taught with purpose to complete an end product with real-world relevance within classrooms that encourage inquiry and investigation to provide a business model with collaboration and organization, communication, and innovation, providing yet another example for how our classrooms have been transformed into vehicles for public service where empowerment through real-world action is developed and fueled.
BELOW: "Importance of Attendance" commercial for Muscatine Schools. Aired on MPW programing for 2015-2017 School year. Filmed and edited as a class project by Muscatine high school students in their educational media class.
BELOW: "What This Place Needs," 2015 commercial for United Way of Muscatine. Aired on Muscatine Power and Water (MPW). Filmed and edited as a class project by Muscatine high school students in their educational media class.
BELOW: 2014 "United Way of Muscatine Campaign" commercial spot. Aired on Muscatine Power and Water (MPW). Filmed and edited as a class project by Muscatine high school students in their educational media class.