A fast and easy way to effectively integrate technology into your lesson or unit (after answering technology for the purpose of what) is to appropriately pair the noun with the verb. I know you are thinking that this is not English class, but stay with me. In order for successful technology integration to take place, teachers need to be well versed in what Prensky (2010) referred to as the “verbs” and “nouns” of teaching.
Prensky identified verbs as skills students need to “learn, practice, and master” (p. 45) (such as understanding and communicating) and nouns are the tools students use to learn and practice these skills. The digital tools included presentation software such as PowerPoint, e-mail, YouTube, and other digital resources that are ever changing.
Prensky urged educators to see the verbs as being the fundamental pedagogy for learning that changes little, if any, and nouns (21st-century tools) as something that will constantly change throughout our lifetimes. Prensky summarized the connection of the noun and verb by illustrating the use of PowerPoint: “PowerPoint is a tool (noun) for presenting (verb). But it will likely be replaced in our students’ lifetimes…by other, better, presentation tools” (p. 46).
The underlying assumption to successfully pairing nouns and verbs is that the teacher has a good understanding of technological knowledge (TK). This means he or she knows which noun (tool) is appropriate to pair with the verb (skill). For example, if teaching the transdisciplinary skill of creativity, the teacher probably would not use Kahoot, an assessment tool, with his or her students to demonstrate their creative ability. However, the teacher might call for Padlet to be used as a brainstorming organizer instead to help with the creative process.
Pairing the appropriate noun to verb is crucial for effective technology integration. I think of verbs as what students are supposed to be able to know and do while nouns are the conduit that helps build knowledge and skills in students. In a future post I will unpack why technological knowledge (TK) is important to successfully pairing nouns and verbs and introduce its close relatives, technological content knowledge (TCK) and technological pedagogical knowledge (TPK) while suggesting how this TPACK domain is crucial to effectively integrating technology into teaching.
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