Integrating Technology for Greater Openness in Learning
A Conversation with Technology Integrationist Eric Curts
Eric Curts is a Technology Integrationist, writer and keynote speaker. He currently works for Stark Portage Area Computer Consortium (SPARCC) in Canton, Ohio, where he oversees Google Apps for Education implementation, training, support, and a variety of other integration initiatives. He will be highly active at the 2020 Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) in Miami this coming January, presenting at 11 different sessions.
Curts was attracted to computers from a very early age, but unlike kids who concentrated on playing games, he found himself drawn to the creative side of things.
“I loved my Commodore 64. I could create something. It was that blank slate, and it was the same feeling I had when the World Wide Web came around. I loved the web pages, but there was also design. You can make web pages. I’ve always been attracted to the creation and tools that give us an open playground to go and create. It always drew me deeper into technology than just using what other people had made. It was, ‘How can I make things my own with this?'”
He believes the best teaching brings a creative spirit to students to explore, and express new ideas after discovery. He adds, “It’s about giving students creative opportunities. We need to foster that more. It’s not just, ‘Here’s a great resource. Learn this. Fill this out and then submit your carbon copy project that everybody has done and they all look the same.'”
A one-project assignment approach may be a suitable method for teachers from a grading point of view, but ultimately it acts as a disservice to student learning. “It’s about students not just creating for the sake of a grade but giving back to the class and feeding back into the learning process,” he adds.
There is a sense of openness that Curts embodies and it applies to all aspects of his work. He is an active promoter of the growth mindset that ultimately lends itself to better lifelong learning. He explains, “[Kids] are walking into a future that’s very unpredictable. We don’t know what kind of problems they’re going to face in their future. We need to give them experiences that don’t have an absolute definite answer, something where they need to step back and poke a stick at it and try some different things. And if it works, great; if it doesn’t, we iterate and try again.”
About Eric Curtis
Eric Curts has been in education for 27 years and currently serves as a Technology Integration Specialist for SPARCC in Canton, Ohio where he oversees Google Apps for Education implementation, training, and support, as well as other technology integration initiatives.
Curts is an authorized Google Education Trainer and Innovator providing Google Apps training to schools, organizations, and conferences throughout Ohio and across the country. He is a co-leader of the Ohio Google Educator Group at bit.ly/gegohio and runs the award-winning blog www.ControlAltAchieve.com where all of his Google Apps and edtech resources can be found.
Follow Eric Curts on Twitter
The 40th anniversary Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) will take place January 14-17, 2020 in Miami, Fla. Registration is now open at Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC)
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