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The technology does not drive the curriculum. The curriculum drives technology selection and application as well as defines the appropriate PD and professional learning that goes along with it. Sounds like folks are still in the acquisition versus application phase. Again application to do exploration, simulation, sampling, and to do NEW things with the technology and create new learning environments, not just do OLD things better.
If the methods are different and the outcomes are the same does it matter?
I never ceased to be amazed at the number of teachers who plant their kids in front of a computer and believe that technology skills arise as a result.
I never cease to be amazed at a lot of what goes on teaching but throwing money into technology and then into schools without any support both in training and/or sustainability, then it is no wonder many teachers revert to the tried and tested.
Lastly, I think it is harsh to say that technology of the last 45 years is underused or worse still non existant in our schools and I don't believe you meant it literally but the truth is, implementation has a large part to play and the failure in planning a sustainable program with training is the downfall at many school districts.
I am a technology teacher and advocate, teaching 5 - 12 by the way.
Susan, your absolutely right! As a technology teacher 5 - 12 and tech coordinator (for want of a better word) I can tell you that "technology" alone is not the panacea for education. Often I read articles where some "thinker" grabs hold of a new buzzword and immediately starts writing copious short articles full of tired cliches about how they are the ones that have found the new acorn of learning. With chants of "Listen to me and it will be your salvation in the classroom".
The sooner the educational establishment gets back to teaching the "whole" child and not just to raise a bunch of sheeple who are good test takers the better. How we do that (the tools) matters not, however, we have to face the reality that all our kids need to be technologically literate. Adults are able to laugh off their lack of technological skills as they were born on the cusp (so to speak), our kids don't have that luxury. Employers expect to see their potential workforce arrive at the door with 21st Century skills neatly packed in their toolbox. If they don't then they can easily "outsource" to a country that does value education and "real" skills.
Technology as a tool, as a subject is important but not at the expense of everything else that we know works also. It is also costly and requires an ongoing committment that it seems our elected officials have no real stomach for.
It never ceases to amaze me that there is still a large number of teachers still using the same old methods and not using any of the new technology that has become available in the last 45 years since I was last a student in high school.
Please, this is not a ludite prolog. What I hate more than the push for technology is forced choices on its use. Districts don't want to cut down trees so everything that was paper is now on line. Paper on line, but use technology from youtube to ipod--out of the question. The district will block you out if you use real technology for real projects. See, I look at school today as more fringe than ever. We don't teach for life, we teach for statistics. We are the rabbis of tests and pedagogy. What use is either if the purpose of education does not make our young men and women producers in their own right, and gift them with the desire to create the next generation of ideas. We, the old, have taken it upon ourselves to tell them that the technology that they use every day at home and helps the creativity that they don't receive from us is not appropriate for school. We will rue this.
Technology is merely a tool. How we integrate it into the message or the product of our lesson is important. To use technology as the only intent is wrong.
As noted previously, using technology just because it is available or can be purchased isn't an effective way of implementing it into a school's curriculum.
Planning needs to be done ahead of time as to what is needed, how it can be used, how it will be supported and the training both for teachers and students.
I have seen valuable budget funds essentially wasted on technology that was not used because the planning for it wasn't done prior to it being acquired.
Well, I'm torn on this issue. I think every teacher should have to push themselves a little - not extreme, but a little. Just like I don't want some doctor saying to me, "Well this method has worked well so far, so I don't plan on trying any new methods. Bloodletting was good enough for my grandfather, so it's good enough for me." I would never see that Dr. again, if they didn't always seek to find new methods of treatment, etc. ON TOP of the tried and true stuff. If teachers don't incorporate tools that the outside world is using, then shame on them.
Teachers should always use the latest tools to do...what? The answers are a bit biased, I think. Define "outdated." Are crayons outdated? Now that there are computer-based art programs available, do I stop having kids draw with crayons or pencils?
I want my students to learn using the latest technology, because they'll need that experience and knowledge in the job market. But technology just for the sake of technology is ridiculous. Should I dump all the books from the library, and insist we all use Kindles instead?
I've seen successful lessons with lots of technology integration and successful lessons without any technology integration. And vice versa: I've seen unsuccessful lessons with lots of technology integration and unsuccessful lessons without any technology integration.
The bottom line is: is this a good lesson? Does it focus on important ideas/ concepts/ standards/ skills the students need? Is it age appropriate? Is there depth to the lesson - are critical thinking skills involved? A student can make a dazzling movie about what they have learned, but if it only contains rote facts that were memorized it is no different from an old-fashioned written report.
It should not be about the tools - it should be about the learning and collaboration that can happen with the tools.