Presenter: S. Craig Watkins, associate professor, The University of Texas at Austin
Craig Watkins has been working in schools and communities for the past year, focusing on what he calls the “digital edge.” The core of Watkins research is related to connecting student curiosity and technological ability to real-world problems.
“This is not about teaching kids how to make money, but more about helping them to be creative in some of the most extreme parts of the world,” said Watkins. “We try to position them where they are designers.”
Watkins says he sees students as “architects of their own information landscape” and discourages education leaders from locking students into one form of technology — whether it is a device, application or program. His thinking meshes with the common practice of differentiated instruction, but he applies it to the use of technology in schools. Watkins says we are now at a digital tipping point, where technology has become a necessary part of young people’s day-to-day life.