Educational Notes - Talking Tech
So…let’s talk tech. Even more…let’s talk tech in school. Schools have laptops, tablets, and various hand-held devices (such as smart phones). Some folks are still a little bit afraid to let loose with technology in schools. Other people think technology will solve everything.
In response, I will refer to this picture and Sir Ken Robinson. (A widely read/published author/speaker about education today.) The statement he made here is really true. Think about it.
When I was a kid, phones that were not on a party line were not a big deal. To my grandparents, however, this was a major advancement in technology. For the first time ever, we could use the phone at their house without everyone listening in on the conversation.
VCRs were high tech. Today, my kids think of them as outdated.
We had four channels: ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS. Today there are hundreds of channels!
Waterproof wristwatches were innovative. Today’s kids don’t wear watches much – they use their phones.
The idea of a cordless phone in our home was amazing and wonderful! Kids today now live in homes that (often) do not have what we now refer to as a “land line”.
Technology in the classroom is the same way. Consider paper and pencils as they replaced the inkwells. This was considered very high tech. Teachers were concerned about this innovation. They said it would be easier for kids to cheat. Sound familiar? Today we hear the same concerns about using computers, cell phones, and other devices.
Let’s face it – if a kid is determined to cheat, not much will stop him. (or her!)
For all our talk about technology – what is technology, really? Ask the kids and they will likely name something different. We –ahem- mature people would name cell phones, and laptops. Our kids, however, have grown up with this and for them – it is not technology. It is commonplace. It just….is. They might name an e-reader. They might talk about tablets.
So…technology in the classroom? I think schools have been implementing various forms of technology in the classrooms for centuries. The bottom line is not the technology we are using, but how we are using the technology. Will we need to make some changes? Sure. But isn’t that always the way it goes? New innovations require change. Do you remember your first cell phone? I remember mine – I was in my 20s. It was a handy device in case I had to drive someplace. Today, I do not even have a “land line”. I rely on my cell phone for everything. I can text, tweet, and chat. If I want to find a place to eat, I look it up on my map. I can take pictures and share them. I can record notes in Evernote, drop files in Dropbox, and get in a little light reading with Kindle. As amazing as all this is to me, my own kids do not see anything amazing about it. It is simply one of those things they have grown up with. Me? I had to change.
It only makes sense that we have to change in the classroom as well. Education is going through a pretty rough time these days. Change is inevitable. The question is this: will we be able to change with it? I think we can. Teachers are pretty adaptable creatures. With the tools we now have available through technology, the change we see in the classroom could result in some pretty amazing things.
Christine Moore holds a degree in education and psychology from Howard Payne University and has a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction. She is now working on her Ph.D. in Educational Technology at Walden University. Married with four children who attend Brownwood schools, Christine teaches 6th grade reading in Brownwood and has been working in education at various levels for the past 17 years. You can read her blog, Technology in Schools, at http://edtech-school.blogspot.com/. Christine welcomes your questions and comments and would love to hear from you! Follow her on Twitter @MrsCYMoore!