Module 1 – Thinking about Technology

Module 1 – Thinking about Technology

Is classroom technology worth the effort?

The podcast offered some good perspectives on the use of technology in schools, while I don’t agree or disagree with all views presented, I can appreciate where they come from. The main idea, which is successfully educating students.

One of the interviewees, Greg Whitby, claims that the focus on technology is a “waste of time”. He says, “If you focus on the technology, you ignore the central problem and the central issue.”

What do you think he means by this?

I think Whitby is talking about the nature and quality of learning that takes place within the classroom. As teachers we are responsible for how content is delivered and interpreted by students. It is the later that is driving the technology integration. Roblyer & Doering (2014) suggest that as teachers we need to strongly evaluate how to motivate and engage students but also how to support students learning needs.

To what extent do you agree?

To some extents, I do agree with Mr Whitby. Teachers do focus on technology as an attempt to engage students. I don’t agree with technology being a waste of time – it’s purely misused and not respected. I agree with Mr Funnell’s comment about being an ’emphasis on ensuring that teachers and training should come before technology adoption’. Technology has a place in the classroom, but the understanding and application need to be assessed for technology to be implemented successfully. As Mishra (21 CLI, 2012) says, todays students are fixed on technology, and to meet their needs, teachers need to adapt to them, not them adapting to us. It is important to ensure that learning occurs in student centred ways.

Why do you think we focus on the technology?

I think we (teachers) focus on technology as a way to engage with the class. We get hopeful that by using technology that it will fill a learning gap that may be there, this is often the hope in regard to struggling or disengaged students. Not only that, we live in the technological era. To not incorporate technology into the classroom would be remiss of teachers as that is what Millennials are used to. Mishra (21 CLI, 2012) did point out that we need to be aware of the amount of technology available to us; what was once a dripping tap has now turned into a gushing water hose. It’s important that we don’t drown with what’s available.

That last point by Mishra struck a cord with me, in that there is so much available, it’s hard to keep up! Not just with the amount of information, but all the new types of technology that arise, there is so much I want to learn and incorporate, I just don’t always get time to ‘master’ it, before attempting to implement. I’m sure this is one of the pitfals that Whitby is referring to.


References:

21 CLI. (2012, March 23). Punya Mishra – Keynote Speaker @ 21st Century Learning Conference – Hong Kong 2012 [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bwXYa91fvQ

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). (19 August 2012). Future tense: 21st century education. Presented by Antony Funnell. Retrieved from www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/futuretense/21st-century-education/4197700#transcript

Roblyer, M., & A. Doering. (2014). Integrating educational technology into teaching: international edition. 6th Edition. Pearson. Great Britain. United Kingdom.

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