A pixelated, quickly rendered obsolete, double edged sword.

Technology in the classroom.  A pixelated, quickly rendered obsolete, double edged sword.   While using technology in the classroom can augment lessons, further understanding, and give students and teachers new and more in depth ways to learn/teach away from the classroom, it can also be a burden that leads to less education.  In the article,  Through The Looking Glass: Examining Technology Integration in School Librarianship, by Lucy Santos Green, she mentions how the education system stresses the importance of using technology in the classroom and its benefits while there is a “neglect to develop and emphasize pedagogical principles that should be guiding the technological choices of our teachers, as well as our own.”

There is a fine line between using technology because it is new and exciting, and using it because it has advantages in education.  Sometimes moving towards a new technology is the correct path, while other times it acts a hindrance.  An example of this in my education:  While I was attending CSU Fresno, there was a big push to upgrade our video editing programs.  We had a speaker come from Adobe and preach to the department how upgrading to a new version of the Adobe suite instead of continuing with Final Cut Pro would be beneficial.  It would be faster, it had more features, it was more user friendly, etc etc.  The department jumped on it and switched everyone over.  Big mistake.  The new, exciting, cool features all sounded great, however it caused more trouble than anyone thought.  Our computers could not handle it, teachers didn’t know how to use it and thus couldn’t help students, all of the students current projects had to be restarted because of the new software.

I also look at the flood of all the presentation software available online.  There are reasons for a change, sometimes Prezi makes sense, sometimes PowerPoint makes sense, however if those work fine, get the job done and are the industry standard, why do schools and teachers waste time introducing students to  the myriad of other presentation programs?  That is a waste of valuable teaching time that could be better used to teach the curriculum.

Teachers, especially those like myself with a geeky side, need to remember that we should be teachers who like technology, not tech geeks who happen to teach.

Technology as a Teaching Tool Technology to Support Student Learning
Assigning YouTube Videos to Watch Assigning a project that involves creating a YouTube playlist in which the students show a common theme and lesson
Making students play Oregon Trail Having students play Oregon Trail and keeping a character “journal” via a blog that talks about what happened each week on the trail.

 

Green, L. (2014, September/October). Through the Looking Glass Examining Technology Integration. Knowledge Quest, 43(1), 36-43.

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