Using Technology in EducationAs the use of technology in the classroom gains momentum, what is a good balance between teacher versus technology as the instruction tool?
I, myself am not a teacher, but I do have an idea about the teaching of technology in the classroom.
While the majority of students are tech savvy (as demonstrated by their skills in gaming and communicating via cell phones), I am concerned about the minority of students who are poor and have inadequate parenting, and no access at home or within their social group to technology.
I would hope that teachers could recognize students that are lacking in this regard in order to perhaps squeeze in some special attention or classroom activities or games that would help bring these students into the mainstream.
I don’t believe the teaching of technology in the classroom should be rationed or limited, so long as the teacher continues to teach responsibly.
As others have so well stated, there is no substitute for a good teacher who can recognize and respond to student needs.
Technology is only as good as the person using it. My lecture with or without a power point presentation is only as good as my research, the clarity of the information, my presentation style with the power point, and my ability to interact with the students while I use the technology. The teacher will never be out of the equation. I frankly find that technology is a crutch for some teachers. If all their notes are on a power point, then they don't have to know it -- they can read it and discuss it from there. I question how authoritative that seems to the students who are watching this. I also question the notion that technology is engaging. My students don't tend to write notes beyond the power point notes unless I specifically say, "you should add this" piece of information from the lecture. If there is no power point, they have to listen a bit more carefully!
I agree! I think teachers should use technology when it enhances classroom instruction, but at the same time we need to make sure we are not incorporating technology just so we can have technology in our lessons. I like using technology that the students have already learned about in computer classes because it seems to take so much time when I have to explain how to use a program and teach the lesson. This is an issue when computer time is limited and students don't have access at home. Even with Power Point, which is pretty standard in the classroom, students waste so much time with the clip art, transitions, etc. and neglect the content. Technology use should be a natural extension of class instruction. We shouldn't have to force it into a lesson just so we can check it off of a list.
Until we stop expecting kids to do things that technology can do better, like spit back facts or crunch numbers, the combination of teacher and technology will continue to be extremely problematic. I believe that technology is only relevant if it can overcome some of the structural deficits that are inherent in our current school structure. Otherwise it serves mainly as a distraction and a false hope that cheapens what schools are trying to do and serves to enrich the suppliers and developers at the expense of children in schools.
I think the teacher should try to use technology (if possible) to make it so that he or she does not have to spend so much time giving information to the students. I agree with the previous post that teachers are irreplaceable. However, teachers should try to work technology in to their lessons so that students can use the technology to get information for themselves rather than relying on the teacher to give it to them.
The important thing is to design lessons that use technology to enhance the content that students learn. Technology skills can be taught at the same time as students learn content through research, Blackboard style interaction, etc. Sometimes I think we think about the skills/content dichotomy as if they are two mutually exclusive things, but the use of technology can accomplish two things at once.
The use of technology is not meant to remove the teacher from the equation, it is simply to be used as an enhancement to what the teacher is focusing upon. Nothing will ever replace the teacher in a classroom. The teacher is the only instruction tool which can see confusion, reward instantly, and understand frustrations. No type of technology can. The teacher, therefore, is irreplaceable.