It’s Not About the Technology


It’s one of those trite statments that you read/hear all the time when people talk about technology in the classroom.  

As I compose my thoughts for this post, I’m watching the Formula 1 qualifying from Yeongam.  

I can’t help but think about the comparison between racing and education.  If we make the statement and apply it to racing, I could be driving my first vehicle, a 1959 Chevrolet Apache pickup truck with the wooden bed and the starter on the floor, around the track.  After all, racing is just about going around a circuit and finishing the best you can, right?

Of course, education is about learning.  It goes without saying but where is the recognition that technology makes it contemporary and offers students all kinds of opportunities to engage and learn faster?

Imagine you’re sitting in a staff meeting and your principal states “It’s not about the technology”.  You look around the room and see…

Luddite

  • It’s not about the technology so there’s no need to use it.  I’ve been teaching the same content the same way for 15 years and there’s no need to change.  If I leave my laptop unplugged, the battery will go dead and I’ll have that excuse.

Low Level

  • It’s not about the technology so there’s no need to use it well in the classroom.  I am scheduled in “the lab” so I’ll take my kids there to Google stuff or watch videos.  It will be a nice break from the regular routine.

Low-Medium Level

  • It’s not about the technology so there’s really no need to teach any of this.  But, I’m going to continue to take my students to the lab so that they can type out their stories.  It makes them so much easier to read.

Medium Level

  • It’s not about the technology but it is about the curriculum.  There are some great tutorials that the kids can work their way through.

High Level

  • I think what she meant was that it wasn’t about learning how the technology works.  We’ll use the software on the computer where it’s important and connect outside the classroom where possible.  I like how my students get excited when someone comments on their blog posts or we Skype an expert into the class.

Over the top

  • I know she meant the statement in a way to comfort people but technology means so much.  We’re using Web 2.0 tools, connecting students to learning experiences, doing group work with our laptops and student devices when they have them.  We’re not just doing things differently; we’re doing different things to address the expectations in the Ontario Curriculum.

Silly?  Wouldn’t your students like to strap themselves into a Ferrari or McLaren or Sauber and blow past those slower modes of transportation?  How about slower modes of learning?

There still is a place, however, for my pickup truck.  I always head to the classics section of car shows just in case there’s one on display.  It brings back fond memories but I sure wouldn’t want to rely on it today.

    OTR Links 10/14/2012


    Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.