cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by James Lee
Technology can be transformative in learning. I have moved away from the notion of technology being “just a tool” and know the power of it in doing something that we were not able to do before. Kids can learn without technology, but the ones that use it, will have opportunities that others wont.
These are things that I know.
I also know that many educators still see technology as an add-on to the work that they already do. When many talk about technology, they will say something like, “Well this is great, but when do I find the time to do this?” Fair question.
We have to really think about the idea of technology as an addition to the work that we do, and start thinking about technology making the work we do so much more powerful. I often use the example of blogging v. journals. I can have a student write once in a journal, and then multiply that by 25 students, followed up by the teacher writing back to each student to ensure that they each have a comment and that they model writing. Let’s do the writing tally.
Student – 1Teacher – 25
Who is becoming more literate in this example?
I could, however, use a blog to have a student write once in their own space and then ask them to comment on five other blogs. Perhaps though, they are really excited about comments they have received and decide to respond to each one. The teacher can then choose five blogs that they comment on this round. Let’s do the new tally.
Student – 6 (minimum)Teacher – 5
The problem that we often run into, though, is we talk about “educational technology,” and many have that in their titles. I am not saying that anyone that has this in their title isn’t doing great work, but the name say something to others.
Education + Technology = More Work
This sends the message to many people that you have to do everything that you have always done PLUS find a way to add technology. This automatically equates to more time.
My suggestion? If technology doesn’t make the learning better, you shouldn’t be using it. The other aspect is that we have to rethink how we do a lot of the learning that we do now and how technology can make it better or transform the opportunity, not simply add technology into the mix.
An important distinction.
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