Which form of education do you believe is the better way of teaching?Using technology to appeal to the students interests, or using traditional meansUsing a couple of proofs which would be better,...

Which form of education do you believe is the better way of teaching?Using technology to appeal to the students interests, or using traditional means

Using a couple of proofs which would be better, my teacher gave me this article, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/21/technology/21brain.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=growing%20up%20digital&st=cse

and asked which form of teaching is better, she asked us to quote and have a well developed thesis.

Being a poor writer I was hoping for some help perhaps.



Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that the fundamental nature of the question might be a bit flawed.  I believe that one does not have to choose between ideas such as "traditional" or "technology."  I think that one can use both mediums to teach children.  I think that one can use technology to teach the needed material and content.  One does not have to abandon what is considered traditional.  For example, students need to have a fundamental understanding of how to read and write.  This has not changed.  We can embrace and use technology towards these ends.  If students blog their thoughts as part of a reader response journal, teachers are still working towards the reading and writing element of literacy, yet doing so with the use of technology.  In this light, technology is a means to an end, which is literacy.  One does not need to choose either/ or suggesting that one is embracing modernity or tradition.  Students' minds and learning are fluid elements and defy such binary opposition.

One of the problems with the article mentioned is that it makes the assumption that technology is the basis for modern students' distractions.  I think that the article was a bit too slanted in suggesting that teaching and learning are separated by technology.  There is a way for students to understand, in a modern context, the traditionalist elements of the content and the need for academic success.  I would check out the Prezi below that argues how modern tools can be used in the traditionalist approach of teaching and learning.  It makes the challenges of teaching much more difficult when we don't fully grasp that teaching and learning has found more avenues.  I think that teachers have to embrace technology, if nothing else to connect with their students.  Yet, this has been as old as time itself in terms of all effective teachers needing to understand the predicaments of their students.  Not so long ago, teachers used to say that they didn't have to care about the emotional climate of their students' lives.  Their argument was that they only needed to teach content and nothing else mattered.  Then, we understood the horrific effects of school bullying and how victims can respond.  From that point on, teachers understood that there was a direct need to fully grasp the emotional content of their students' lives.  In much the same manner, teachers now need to understand the technological dimension to students' lives.  There is still a need to teach the fundamentals of the content and discipline.  Yet, in understanding their students' lives, effective teachers grasp that there is a need to appropriate part of students' lives into instruction.  It is not that one has to be "traditionalist" or "modern."  Rather, it is simply best practices, and effective approaches to instruction.

kapokkid eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are all kinds of folks who suggest that kids brains are wired differently because they grow up in front of screens, etc., and I happen to work in a school where kids are mostly growing up in front of two or three screens at a time.  We even hand every one a lap top for high school, so its certainly ubiquitous.

But like the previous post, I hesitate to think that there are just the two different methods and that one must use technology to appeal to kids' interests.  There are tons of other ways to appeal to the different interests that students have and many of them don't involve any technology.  "Traditional" teaching is so often looked down upon or thought of as something that only the dinosaurs still do, but it has it's place as well.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A mixture of methods is always best.  If you use every strategy that you have, depending on what is needed, you will be more successful.  There are times when you need to use something traditional, and there are times when technology is needed.  Mixing up the methods also keeps students interested because they are not always doing the same thing.

Teachers have to get used to technology.  However, in order to teach effectively the teacher has to understand and feel comfortable with the technology.  Trying to teach when you don't know how to use the technology is worse than not using it as all, because you waste time and appear foolish.

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ever since Garner expostulated upon the several intelligences of people, education has taken differing directions in order to facilitate the various ways of learning that people have.  That there are yet those who respond to the traditional methods of learning is certain.  That they, too, enjoy the use of modern technology is also certain.  And, that there are other tools as well is also certain.

saurabhkgp | Student

The modern technique such as mnemonics, online education, high tech classrooms with lots of instruments such as projectors etc aids students to tackle the subject and understand it better and faster. For instance if you have drama "Macbeth" in your syllabus, you can see the movie rather than reading the book and can answer all the questions from macbeth with ease. Moving images help us to recall and retain the things in our mind much faster and easier than the things that we read. On the other hand if we see the orthodox teaching way, where the teacher makes the students understand the topic, helps a lot, when we see the teaching method of old india where students were thaught manually by their gurus (teacher) in their ashrams (school) we will find that the traditional way of teaching will never die.

petulisa1 | Student

There probably isn't a right answer. (I don't think there is.) The right answer would be that students need a little bit of both traditional education, and technology education. You (students) are being educated for jobs that don't even exist, but you can be sure that these will require 'on your feet thinking' and problem solving, and will include technology. To say that only technology should be used is a narrow response. Also, to say that only traditional education should be used reduces the opportunity for students to fly beyond the limits of a regular classroom.  Technology allows you to interact and learn far beyond the classroom wall. Some students learn better by producing a response using film or powerpoint. But there is always a place for traditional discussion, textbooks and testing. The internet, and technology, loses effectiveness if students approach it as a toy, instead of the powerful tool that is has the capability of being. Unless a lesson is set up as a "discovery process' lesson, a firm grounding in the concepts and expectations of the lesson, and the teacher can be conveyed through a more traditional approach. Once these basics are understood, then the student can be effective using technology

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