I seem to have missed two blogs so I'm playing catch up today!
SCHOOLING AND LEARNING IN AN INFORMATION SOCIETY
Technology has changed the way we live - could you imagine living without email or a cell phone? Probably not. I overheard a conversation with a couple teachers who were teasing one about still not having a cell phone. It's unheard of these days. But I digress, the article made some interesting points about schools such as the expansion of knowledge. Having gone through curriculum review last year it is really difficult to pick what is taught in school. However, since high school is deemed as college prep my thoughts lean towards teaching as much as possible so that students can make their life/career decisions when they get to higher education - college. There seems to be more and more responsibility being placed on schools outside of simply teaching the content.
I agree with the article's opinon that technology is needed but technology requires money and people trained to fix the technology as well as train teachers on how to use that technology etc, etc, etc. Not everyone is as receptive to technology as one might think. Plus, there are research studies coming out that conclude use of technology is not always good for student learning. I actually do not use my projector much at all anymore. I notice a distinct difference between the way students react with the projector versus the overhead. We're missing something here - I don't know what - but something seems too impersonal and cold when a classroom should be welcoming and comforting. It's all too much to think about!
THE COMPUTER DELUSION
It's undeniably true that teachers are responsible for the success of students and I'm thankful this article pointed that fact out. However, without proper training teachers can limit the success of their students. This is the same principle behind the technology craze we are currently seeing (and have been going through for some time now). If teachers are not properly trained on how to use software or other instructional programs, how can they be expected to adeqately teach students on these same programs? We have all these great options for new software, new projectors, new SMART boards and other technologies, but why isn't any money going into teaching teachers how to use this stuff?
Reading other posts I got the impression that some people feel technology in the classroom should be an individual choice so they are not required to do something out of their comfort zone (or subject area). I understand that teaching methods are different but technology is not trying to change that - it's just providing supplemental things to assist in teaching. Biology programs are being designed to enhance the labs we currently do but one step further - doing something which time and money does not allow us to do regularly. It's up to the teacher to use these and there is nothing wrong with doing things the "old" way (I do all the time). However, we need to be open to the possibility of new technology and at least try it. If you don't like it then you don't have to use it - I love trial software for that fact alone. That said, I do have a hard time defining the line between just enough technology and too much technology. We can't depend on it to do things for us but sometimes it does help. It's finding the balance that works for you and sticking with your gut feelings when it comes to using technology or not.