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Why do we have such a strong emphasis on technology, when currently our education...

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monique06 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted February 11, 2013 at 10:12 PM via web

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Why do we have such a strong emphasis on technology, when currently our education system is already broken?

 

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 11, 2013 at 10:29 PM (Answer #1)

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First of all, we must realize that there is no clear and irrefutable evidence that our educational system is “broken.”  Our system is clearly not perfect.  However, it is not clear that it is completely broken.

The question then becomes “why do we focus so much on technology when our system clearly has problems?”  To this, there are at least two possible reasons.  One reason for focusing on technology is that it is reasonable to believe that technological education is something that our children need to prepare them for their futures.  In this view, if we do not pay attention to technology, our children will lack the skills that they need to have successful lives.  We need to teach them about things like computers so that they will be able to do the kinds of jobs that are needed in our modern economy.   In this view, then, one thing that is wrong with our system is that it does not teach enough about the technologies that our kids will deal with.  Teaching them about technology is one way to “fix” our system.

A second reason for focusing on technology is that it is possible to imagine that technology can improve education.  In this view, one problem with our system is that it is not interesting enough for our students.  Technology, in this view, can be used to make the system better.  As one example of this, children can do their math classes on a computer using a program that tailors the questions asked to their abilities.  This allows them to learn much more efficiently than is possible when a teacher just hands the same worksheet to all of the students.

We focus on technology, then, because we think that it might improve our educational system.

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elattarulo | College Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted March 13, 2013 at 9:51 PM (Answer #2)

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Ah, I would not say our educational system is "broken." It does a very decent job of preparing students for the real world, the world beyond the classroom. I think part of the issue here is that we have evolved into a society of very diverse student populations, including cultures, languages, learning styles and unique needs. The educational system is usually greatly influenced by lawmakers who have never set foot in a classroom and although they mean well, do not understand what the average teacher deals with on a daily basis. One way of learning does not work for everyone; one size does not fit all!~ Technology appears to be a great leveler of the playing field. It addresses visual, auditory and tactile learners. It crosses cultural and linguistic boundaries. Students enjoy using smart phones, media and gaming and if we incorporate more of these robust tools into our teaching, it will engage students and make learning more accessible. So bring on those Ipads, smart phones, and laptops. The door to the 21st century is open and we cannot be afraid to pass on through!!! Dr. Elena

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