Doing New Things the New Way

This week I got the chance to read a very worthwhile and useful article called “Shaping Tech for the Classroom” from Marc Prensky who wrote his thoughts already in 2005. The article definitely describes my own steps regarding technology in education the last 6-7 years. Dabbling was the start, I tried technology and did something here and there. If I look back I surely did old things in old ways by f.e. using Word for story telling. I already felt great and very much confirmed that this is the right way when I started to do old things in new ways. I was proud of my students using the search engines for children, using a dictionary they needed, practicing with any kind of teaching software and I also was proud of myself using the projector showing movies about a certain topic instead showing a projector slide on the Overhead Projector. And Prensky mentions possibilities I have never thought of like online simulations.
But Marc Prensky also speaks in his article about an additional step we need to do: Doing new things in new ways. He asked us to listen to the students more often und more carefully which reminds me of the following young lady called Adora Svitak:

That brings me to my first next steps – trying new things the new ways. Following are the possibilites:

  • Explore Google tools and applications and how I can integrate them in teaching?
  • Contribute more often to the network I’m creating right now and let the students experience the benifits for learning through networking.
  • Observe and ask students what and how they use technology. (questionary/research at school?)
  • Starting a Tech Tuesday to share my ideas with people who are interested.




8 replies on “Doing New Things the New Way”

oh. my. goodness. Adora is amazing! I love TED talks.. and this is up there for my favorite. I love your list for new things.. I can’t even begin to compile mine because I have a feeling it would be QUITE long. : ) Look forward to Tech Tuesdays!


Believe me my list is longer. I mean, Google tools already open something huge, something never ending … I’ll try. Yes, I’ll also try to share here online what I’ll do during Tech Tuesday …


Great post, Verena. Thank you. Adora’s video is amazing, and I’m sitting here marvelling at all the things she said and did in the video that I suspect no adult ever taught her. Her humorous quips must be her own — they’re delivered so naturally, and her observations are spot-on for someone her age. Her public speaking know-how is outstanding. My high school forensics team members could learn a lot from her. And here’s my epiphany — they could learn a lot more from her than from me, and not just about public speaking. Adora’s accessibility through a TED talk teaches young people that the world wants to hear when they have to say. The information she spoke about is accessible on the internet, and my guess is that she found it on her own and didn’t need a teacher to lead her to it. The books she’s published were made possible because she could search for publishers online, communicate with them, and “seal the deal”, perhaps without ever having met them face-to-face. So what could she teach my students that I can’t? She SHOWS them that anything is possible in our connected, digital world. I can tell my students that all I want, and give them a million examples, but I haven’t done it. She has. What an inspiration for them, and for me.

Please do blog about your Tech Tuesdays! I like to learn from what you’re learning. 🙂


I was lucky enough to meet Adora at a conference a couple years back….bright kid…and can she ever present….so glad I wasn’t following here. 🙂

Great list…doing new things in new ways is what COETAIL is all about. Give it a try the worse thing that can happen is you fail, which means you learn.


Thanks for a great post, Verena. I love the connection you made to Adora and doing new things in new ways. There is so much that we can learn from children if we JUST LISTEN! Good luck with your list! Will you turn one of your ideas into your course 1 project? Lots of good ideas there…
Have a nice day!


My first project probably will be the Wikipedia I just did with Grade 4. It is a great possibility for me to get into UbD which is new to me. It’s also gives me the possibility to reflect on the Unit I just did. Let’s see. So, yes, it’s one part of the list – to let the students experience how to benefit of a network.


Hi Verena. I really enjoyed viewing the video, and actually started our day in class today watching it again with the kids. I had them discuss what they thought of it in small groups, and they had some good ideas and feedback. One of the kids actually said, “I think this is our time to be kids, so it’s okay for adults to treat us like children.” It made me think about how perceptive our youngsters have become; it’s as if they sense how adults long of have some of their ‘childhood opportunities and advantages’ back.


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