State of Technology in Education

Education is still primarily a cult of personality.  After reading the Canadian Teacher’s Federation survey results in “Connected to Learn: Teachers Experiences with Networked Technologies in the Classroom,” it doesn’t surprise me that the results are as varied as the teachers that took the survey.   Bates then argues for the implementation of technology in education in his digital book “Teaching in a digital age: Guidelines for designing teaching and learning.”  And I agreed with everyone of his points.  In our technological age, I don’t think many people would disagree Bates’ points. 

But Education still belongs to the figure at the front of the class.  If the teacher believes (or feels comfortable) with using social media, networked learning, programmed learning etc, in the class room then they will implement it.  If they are comfortable and satisfied with paper handouts (and they have a file cabinet full of paper resources) then guess what the students will be doing.

I have not taught my own class, and have TOC’d for the past five years.  The rich experience of being in another teacher’s class has exposed me to different teaching styles, methods, and philosophies,  and I have seen everything on the digital continuum — from no technology to entire units completed digitally.  And I have to say there is a freshness to a lesson plan that allows for the use of technology (websites, hardware, software et. al.)   In general, the students are “into it” and feel like they are part of something meaningful especially when creating new ways of displaying their learning.   Students are not excited about worksheets.   Like Bates argues, if we are preparing students for our knowledge based society, managing knowledge, disseminating, collaborating, creating,  then become important skills.   I know my idea of a successful class is engaged students, excited to learn.  Not managing students and putting out behavioral fires.


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