high-tech vs. no tech

This article does a good job of highlighting the conflct in today’s society of when and how to incorporate technology into education.  Of all the videos we have watched and articles we have read in class, I found this one to be the most interesting.  I liked reading about actual schools that I am familiar with.  I grew up not far from Flint Hill High so it was interesting to read about how tech savvy this school is.

There is a drastic difference between schools and how they use technology even within the same county.  Why?  To me, I think the answer is budget and whether or not the administrator of a particular school embraces the use of technology.  Parents also have a big influence.  As one parent stated within the article in regards to her daughter Nina, “She needs an environment that lets her figure out her own style of learning.”  I agree with this statement.  If using technology in the classroom helps students learn, then I think it is appropriate.  This type of mentality helps students become independent and figure out how to use their critical thinking skills.  I do think, however, that pushing technology without proper teacher knowledge of how to incorporate that technology can be a hinderance instead of an enhancement.  The article states “we have to stop and think if we are embracing technology just because it is there and new or if it is the best tool for what we want to accomplish.”  I couldn’t have said it better!  It needs to make sense.

There is a section of the article that describes a classroom setting where students all have devices in the classroom and are allowed to email, tweet, etc during lecture.  In a perfect world, all students would be mature enough to handle this type of freedom…but we all know that isn’t possible.  Yes, let the students choose how they like to learn, but set guidelines and rules for using devices in a classroom.  The goal is to teach and learn.

I think the important thing to remember when using technology as an education tool is to remember that every student learns in a different way.  It is our responsibility to make sure that we adhere to each student in our classroom.  Denying certain students of technology could greatly affect their ability to learn, while other students would prefer traditional teacher led instruction with paper and pencil.  There is something to be said for hands on learning that has been occurring for centuries.  At the same time, using the tools available to us today can only help enhance education (if used properly).  To me, a happy medium is a best approach.  Those students who prefer to use more technology should be given that opportunity and those that prefer to do it the “old school way” are welcome to do so.  Neither extreme (no tech vs. high tech) is the answer, unless of course students are taking a technology class.  That is pretty self explanatory 😉

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One Response to high-tech vs. no tech

  1. sjknight says:

    Thanks for bringing up teacher training. This has been a topic for debate for years. Although educators are in the business of learning, many no longer feel they need to learn. Many teachers that don’t want tech, because they don’t want to spend the time learning. In my 15 years of EdTech, I am beginning to see a shift. New teachers ( not necessarily young teachers) come to the job with a higher capacity to adapt. Many have the mindset, tech is not going away so teach me. 10 years ago schools forced the SMARTboard into classrooms, now new teachers expect to see the SMARTboard. Anyone learning today is using some form of tech, it is unavoidable:)

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