I’m in the process of reading Rewired. While we know that children are wired to technology, this book brings up an interesting fact – many of today’s grammar school students have used technology their whole lives. They have probably kept in touch with a relative via email, Skype, instant messaging, etc. They play computer games, read online, and mouse-clicking and keyboarding are an everyday activity.
As a teacher, I want my students to learn. I don’t care if chalk and blackboard is the technology that does the trick or if they are teleconferencing with a class at another school.
There is much debate about the use of technology in the classroom and if technology should be used in the classroom. As I thought about the for/against opinions, I realized that part of the riddle is that today’s students see the world through digital lenses.
- When I was a student, the library was my tool for research. Today students google the necessary information.
- When I worked on a group project, the group had to meet in person. Today, students can text, IM, Facebook, or use other technologies to communicate.
Today’s students can read about a subject or watch a YouTube or TED lecture. They can join online communities to discuss and debate topics. They can write multimedia-infused papers that include text, graphics, video, and music to explain a concept or point of view.
I mention these methods to illustrate the options available for students to learn and communicate. My dad always taught me the value of self-learning. When I was growing up, my dad purchased paper-based self-learning course for my brother, me, and for himself. Today, if he were alive, he would embrace the internet.
It is not right to view technology’s use in education as either right or wrong. I never liked the either/or approach whether it be digital photography or film, MP3 or CD, etc. The goal is to engage students and ensure that they learn.
Please share your thought with me.