A great read from T.H.E. Journal discusses the value and importance of pushing for deep conceptual understanding versus surface learning. Some statements that resonated with me and hopefully will with you also are:
"The Common Core State Standards' changes in math and science instruction are not just about content. The new standards ask learners to, among other things, demonstrate deep conceptual understanding of core concepts by applying them to new situations, as well as writing and speaking about their understanding."
"Deep conceptual learning is a distinct learning approach from surface learning, which is characterized by memorization, rote learning, and unquestioning acceptance of textual information. In deep conceptual learning, learners take what they know--aka prior knowledge--and deepen their understanding of the concepts. Some authors call people who seek deep conceptual learning "learners" and those who skim the surface "students."
"Beyond learning new pedagogical models, however, teachers and their students need access to appropriate technological tools. Technology-enhanced learning experiences allow learners to explore concepts that otherwise couldn't be presented in class because of safety concerns or a lack of equipment, materials, or lab space. Web-based systems are easily scalable from dozens to thousands of students school- or district wide. Online activities can engage digital-age learners in core concepts using real-world scenarios, compelling graphics, and an active learning pedagogy." From this point several excellent models are provided.
This article was written in 2012 but I don't know that all educators were ready or aware of the pedagogical shifts within the Common Core Standards, so I wanted to share it again as we move forward with implementing the Common Core Standards and Standards for Mathematical and Scientific processes.