Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Could We Be Relying to Heavily on Technology In Our Classrooms?

Technology in our classrooms allows us to teach our students using the resources we need to create successful learners.  In today's classrooms, everything is dependent on some sort of technology.  We take attendance on our computers, we input grades into our computers, we create lessons and worksheets on our computers, we even use computers to help teach our lessons.  We are so dependent on technology in our classrooms that I think some have lost sight of where we have come from.  The big question to ask is, What if we lost our technology and had to teach out of a book or using a chalk board? 

I use technology everyday in my classroom and in my personal life.  I could not imagine not having the use of my cell phone or my computer.  The point that I am trying to make is that we need to have a balance of technology use in our classrooms.  I feel that by over using technology we are showing our students that we need to rely on technology in our lives.  To a certain extent we do have to rely on technologies to help assist us in our daily lives.  We cannot solely rely on technology because if it were to fail then we would not know what to do.  I believe in showing my students some technologies but also showing them the skills they need to survive without using all of the technologies that have been created for us.  I like to have my students participate in many hands on activities such as building and drawing just so they can get a feel for what it is like.

I would like to know peoples thoughts on this.  Creating successful learners is our ultimate goal as an educator.  Do we use a balance of technology and hands on activities?  How do we know what the balance is?

2 comments:

  1. Hello Ben! Todd from Walden here...

    I agree with your comments, and would take your question a bit further as it appears to be a double-edged sword. How many people could function without an ATM card? Do people still remember, or fo that matter were even taught, how to write a check for cash? On the other hand, I don't want to sound like my great grandfather who wanted to know what we were going to do when that new-fangled automobile broke down, because you can never replace a good horse.

    Technology needs to remain a tool in our bag of teaching expertise. I ALWAYS have a back-up plan, simply because the power in our building tends to go out a lot, and I do not want to be caught with a Smartboard and no power. On the other hand, I don't want to be replaced by a robot or a remote teacher either. I actually had a remote teacher in college, who taught our class via live video, which was in 1982.

    Thanks!
    Todd

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  2. Hey Ben, Fred from Walden just jumping in too..

    First off, great questions...all. I'd have to agree with Todd and say that we can't have our cake and eat it too?! Not sure that even makes sense here, but I think you get the idea. We see how dependent people (our students included) have become with technology when we go to a store and the power goes out or the computers go down. It takes forever for people to adjust to the way things were "back in the day". For a moment, everything stops and people scramble around looking at each other for a sign on what to do next. But it is just in that very moment we must realize how life-changing and efficient technology has made our lives. Over the past decade or so, business and education technologies have become more and more reliable. This is why we freak out when they don't work and you are right...the show must go on!

    I don't think it's so much that we need technology, it's that we want technology because it has potential to make our lives easier, interesting, and more fun!

    With that said, you are 100% right that there needs to be a balance. If all a kid knows is Wii activities all their life...well then the technology has been misused. There are three things that technology should do: improve, enhance, or expand our life. We the users must be the ones to find the balance for ourselves. We the teacher must provide our students with a well-rounded picture of what life is with and without certain technologies. It is our job to model proper use of technology including be proactive and being ready with plan B.

    Take care!

    Fred

    Last thought. Teachers

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