Learning With Technology



Welcome to Learning With Technology. This site grew out of my research interest in using information and communication technology to help my students build a sense of community that extended beyond the classroom walls. My current interests are in enabling connections, community, and collaboration: using current and emerging technologies to bring professionals and students together.


Chris builds his computer in class.What's here?

This site contains information that I used with my classes when teaching, as well as links to much of my initial graduate work in educational technology. Due to the tight community of my current doctoral program, most of our work is posted in community areas not accessible to the public. (As times change, so do the tools we use and the communities we form.)

Why the site?

As educators, our job is to help prepare students for their future. Students will need to be able tackle unknown problems without fear, synthesize knowledge from solving those problems, communicate their new knowledge effectively, use what they learn to help others, and then do it all over again. And do it in a world we can’t envision. We can’t achieve that goal without understanding how our students use current technology or without experimenting with new technology. As teachers, we have to keep increasing our own knowledge of technology so that we can make intelligent decisions about where and how to use it, while keeping focused on helping our students learn to learn. We have to model learning for the students.


Marie and Takako edit a video for a friendCurrent technologies allow students to communicate and collaborate in ways not possible before. Whether they are building a website in a multi-authored environment, collaborating with a far-off class, creating their own microworld, exploring a virtual world, researching a significant question, or debating their projects in a discussion group or multi-user virtual environment, or even taking a quick picture with their cell phone to illustrate a point, students can do what could not even be envisioned a few years ago.

Letting Go

As I looked at what students were doing in their spare time with these technologies and how they were using the community-building tools I had provided, I came to an epiphany. I finally realized that to be an effective teacher I had to quit "teaching;" I had to let go. I had to step further to the side let the students shape their interactions and their experience. Letting go requires depth and breadth of experience from the teacher, who must provide guidance without hindering learning; it's one of the most difficult actions for a teacher to take. But let go we must.

Students debate a sorting algorithmAbout

For those who don't know me, the quick explanation is that my background is in engineering, but I am now fortunate enough to be an ICT Director in an international school. I previously was a high school IT Coordinator and taught middle school children about mathematics and technology. Who am I? gives the long version and the résumé gives the condensed version.

As a professional, I have to:

  • Learn: As much as I know about technology, I don’t know nearly enough the myriad possibilities of making technology work for us and help our students. My goal is to stretch my understanding of technology in education.

  • Share: I have to use my expertise to help others reach their goals and dreams. It's one small way in which I repay all those who have shared with me.

  • Lead: Every advance requires a champion and every person has an obligation to be a champion. The only way I can successfully champion technology integration is to also model it myself.


Last maintained 10/28/2008



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Original Content ©2001-2008 by Derrel Fincher, Other rights reserved by individual authors

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