We share evidence-based K-12 learning strategies that empower you to improve education.
No matter what technology we are talking about, be it the latest iPhone or the humblest pencil, it still comes back to one thing: It is the teacher that makes the difference, not the technology. (As a friend of mine puts it, 'It's the Teach not the Tech!').
Lots of tools/toys/tech will not compensate for poor teaching.
I believe that technology based learning has opened doors, doors that may have remained closed, for some students. As educators, we know that there are different types of learning modalities. I would not be suprized if, say 5 years from now, we add "techno-learner" to the following list of modalities: sensory, perceptual, Cognitive Information Processing, personality type, personal talents or situational. Technology is the lead way into our future. We need to keep this in mind when we dicuss technology's roll in education.
Before answering this question we should first consider the meaning of technology in education. Technology is a tool for teachers to deliver knowledge and curriculum and a tool for students to acquire it in the best and most efficient way. Technology is incorporated into education not just for the sake of it or to make school and teachers look "cool", but to actually serve a purpose for improving efficiency and even motivation to learn.
I do not believe that providing the latest technology, a teacher can improve their teaching or their students' learning. It is physically impossible for anyone to follow all new tech trends let alone deliver them in a classroom. It takes away from the curriculum and has no direct implication to the efficiency of teaching or learning.
The case is different when a teacher is teaching a strictly technology class. Then yes, it is a good way to keep his/her students up to date with latest trends in the area.
It is the wise teacher who can determine the appropriate teaching method for the content and the students' needs. But, if they are going to use technology and many times it is the best tool available today, they must be fluent.....in its use.
Important to remember that lead pencils are also technology - the best teaching/learning comes when akk get to participate in the engagement of minds no matter how arrived at - through electronic or manual means. Technology often delivers information not comprehension, learning, thinking - its the process, not the means and the result should be knowledge not just facts.
Most cell phones now have calculators, I think it is rare that calculators are not available. This is an old way of thinking about math.
We as teachers should push for a more diverse classroom setting but we should not forget our roots of our profession. Lecture is still an effective form of teaching.
15+ years ago I was interested in becoming a teacher & through my graduate classes learned about the levels of learning...doesn't everything come full circle...if the "technology" can be integrated to help our students reach their highest level of learning (aspiring to synthesis..if I remember my definitions correcly) then technology (& the teacher who uses it) has done its job as a teaching tool.
Our job isn't necesarily to bring new technology into our students, but to help them experience technology as a tool to help them learn !
PS. I finally left biotech in the Boston area to teach and it has been 6 years of rewarding & challenging experiences...I have never looked back.
My daughter-in-law is taking math courses to become a nurse. They do not allow them to use calculators. Perhaps because there will be situations where those gagdets will not be available.
Technology is a major part of the world that our children live in. As such, we have an obligation to help prepare youngsters to make the most of it.
As educators, we need to be flexible and examine how new technologies can add more dimensions to our teaching. Merely sitting a child down in front of a computer is not enough. Tools now exist to make education a collaborative and communal effort. Incorporating podcasting, blogging, wikis, numerous free creative software tools helps children express themselves, give them positive feedback through peer recognition, engages and encourages them on multiple levels.
Denying them the voice of technological input is like telling an artist that they must limit themselves to only using charcoal pencils.
Traditional methods of teaching certainly aren't useless, but they aren't enough, either.
Teachers must provide content, inspiration and help children master the technology that IS already part of their world. We need to examine technological tools for their possibilities and limitations, and provide our students with the best of them to help them express themselves and master the tools of their world.