The use of technology as a teaching pedagogy has created an unlimited source of instructional activities and strategies to enhance student learning and higher academic achievement. We are living in the age of information highways that are accessible at the click of a button. This has created a wealth of options for teaching content knowledge. I am amazed at the response by students when technology is used. They are more focused and attentive to the subject matter even if it does not particularly interest them.
The boon in technology has infused several scenarios that can be considered problematic and counter-productive to student learning. The use of technology is great until it breaks down. I teach in a developing country where power outages are frequent. The probability of getting "zapped" in the middle of a presentation is pretty high even though we have generators and backup power for our computers. I have learned through the years that when using technology, always have a backup in case it fails. I have also noticed that excessive use of technology can impede social interaction between students. They become mesmerized by the endless source of entertainment available to them on an inanimate object. Social skills are hindered when technology is over-used. I make sure to have a cooperative learning activity following the use of technology. This ensures that students work together using their minds to solve problems instead of having a computer figure it for them.
In the long run, technology serves as an important tool for students and teachers to enhance the learning experience for both parties. Finding the right balance of when to use this technology and when not to can make a huge difference in learning outcomes. It can promote community in the classroom or tear it down. It can be the difference critical thinking and robotic mimicking. It is my hope that we as teachers use technology wisely and prudently in our teaching pedagogy.
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