Using Computer Technology to Teach Perplexity

I stumbled across the video below a couple days ago. It captures a talk given by Dan Meyer, a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University, who gave the keynote speech at the 2014 Computer-Using Educators Conference in Palm Springs, Florida, earlier this month. There’s a lot that I like about this talk. For one, Meyer gives what I think is a realistic perspective of the ed-tech industry. There are many, many computer technologies (hardware, software, smart phones, iPads, etc. etc.) teachers can utilize in their classrooms. Not all computer technology is built equally, and the teacher’s focus, argues Meyer, should be on finding technology that helps to capture, share, and resolve perplexity in the classroom. By encouraging perplexity in the classroom, Meyer encourages teachers to use technology in a way that prompts students to ask questions that tap into their curiosities rather than using technology to simply deliver content deemed important by the Common Core. Finally, Meyer’s talk is pretty funny. Most conference keynote speeches aren’t this funny, so I definitely appreciate that aspect of this talk.