When I taught psychology, there was a concept I taught students called functional fixedness. Functional fixedness is when a person can only see and view an object one way. A pencil could only be a pencil, a book could only be a book. However, as educators and in particular technologically-literate educators we have to and should be the opposite of this concept. Dr. Mishra, preeminent Spartan scholar, is the co-author of the TPACK educational theory. This theory of how technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge all intersect with educators argues we cannot afford to be technocentric, especially in the classroom.
It’s a foregone conclusion that an educator can no longer be a “sage on the stage”. We are no longer spigots that dispense trickles of knowledge in a linear limited fashion. Instead, Mishra argues our students already have access to an ocean of knowledge through the internet. They don’t need us for that role. However, they do need us to show them how to sift through this information, repurpose, and use that information particularly to create new tools and find creative new uses for tools we already had. That’s where we can show them how to be Everyday MacGyvers.
To demonstrate this idea that as educators we have to do our best to provide opportunities to build, change, and transform with whatever tools we have, I made a short Youtube demonstration:
In this video, you can see I am acutely aware that I have limitations with regards to my resources, but as Dr. Mishra argues that should not stop us especially now when we have technology to integrate inout practice and help us break through those limitations… or an elongated spoon!
And when my students go out in the world, I hope they can construct their own knowledge with technology and someday do this:
Comment & tell me how YOU were an Everyday MacGyver in your teaching practice.