Reflection on "Public School Teachers Using Machines in the Next Decade"
When I was in Japan, I thought why we didn’t incorporate computers into our classrooms more, although they were like essential items for our lives. I thought that was because a lack of teachers’ (including me) skills and knowledge of computers, and a lack of appropriate environment for learning with computers (e.g. a lack of available computers per student). In my Japanese school (private school), there were only 3 teachers out of 40 who were familiar with computers and taught computers in their classes. However, they didn’t teach English, math, social studies, or science with computers, but just taught how to use computers (e.g. MS Excel, Word, PowerPoint). Moreover, in Japanese universities, not until 2002 were computer courses incorporated into teaching licensure program.
As the author argues, while it may be true that slow incorporating computers into classrooms is attributed to unprepared teachers and insufficient fund, the Japanese Ministry of Education and society have still little perception of using computers in the classroom. Their perception is teaching the computer itself (how to use), not teaching with computers.
However, I think each of us in Japan, as teachers, needs to change such a perception and rethink about computers and learning in school. In fact, I personally have changed my understanding of computers and teaching English, and have found interest of teaching with technologies. I didn’t have any ideas although I and my students wanted to use computers in my classes. So I think this course CI5351 is really helpful for me.