The Abyss of Education Technology

Technology is a tricky term that I tend to correlate directly with something that has to be turned on, plugged in or fully charged. This, however, is not the case and most of the things around us are different types of technology. Take a pencil, for instance, a piece of technology that may have been one of the first tools that we learned how to use early on in our educational journey’s. With this technology we learned a new skill that was important in a day when e-mail scarcely existed, we could write a letter to family and friends, communicate through notes at home letting our parents know where we were, we could even document our daily soap opera in a diary with this great new skill with a piece of technology that would be very important to our education and our future.

The pencil is just one of many different pieces of technology that were important parts of my educational experience, and it is still used to this day. We had things like chalkboards, big clunky computers that we got to play Number Munchers and Oregon Trail on, televisions that were strapped down onto a large trolly (also a piece of technology utilized today.) among many other examples. One of my favorites was when teachers used overhead projectors, I hated seeing them because that meant my left arm was going to ache from taking way to many notes while a teacher lectured and I still had to retain that information whilst writing diligently in my notebook all the while remembering everything so they would not have to repeat themselves. The aspect I loved about these dinosaurs of the classroom was that no matter how many times educators used them they always struggled to place the sheet of notes properly, they ended up upside down or backwards. This is a piece of technology I was happy I did not get the opportunity to utilize because I dreaded the misplacement of the notes!

Obviously there have been many new different tools that we as educators are able to take advantage of to help to amplify the learning that happens within our buildings. Smart Boards, different styles of desks, fidgets, and computer programs that help prepare students for the ever increasing tech savvy world that we are living in.

Did I forget to mention iPhones, the same technology that seems to have a new model hitting the shelves near you every two to three weeks? This is quite possibly the greatest technological advancement for education that we have seen to date. Students are continually experts on this technology and are learning how to utilize these devices that they can personalize to their liking with different apps that are used for social media and education. The trick is helping them become responsible users of said devices. As facilitators of learning it is our responsibility to help students become aware of the dangers involved with social media apps and positive self image when using these apps.

There have been many great applications that have been created to harbor learning with a smart device. Apps such as Pearson e-text, where students can access their textbooks without having to lug one home with them every night. YouTube where there are a number of educational “do it yourself” videos, lectures, and Ted Talks among other educational content. Kahoot has become a fun way to assess student learning within the class. Remind as a communication tool for students, parents and teachers. Google docs, classroom and  drive for creating works and enhancing computer literacy.

I know that I am just scratching the surface when it comes to educational technology that is out there, and I am by no means an expert, but the technology that we can utilize within education today is incredible.

This video touches on some of the great ways technology is being used in classrooms.

All of these different advancements are amazing for the future generations of students but we have a responsibility to help them utilize these advancements to the best of their abilities and to use them for a purpose in our classrooms. Without that type of care and planning educators are just using these great tools without a purpose.

These advancements in education technology are exciting, but at the same time scary…hologram teachers…whatever happened to job security!!  

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2 Responses to The Abyss of Education Technology

  1. scottgardiner12 says:

    Hey Adam, great post.

    I agree wholeheartedly when you say that we (as teachers) have a responsibility to help students make use all of these advancements. However, maybe it’s the grumpy old man in me or maybe it’s because I’ve spent much more time fighting with WordPress than I thought I would but I’m worried about how I’m going to acquire the skills necessary to properly use the new tech. It’s one thing to give teachers access to technology but it’s another to give them the training required to use it properly.

    I think back to my own experiences with a Smartboard. A few years back I was transferred to a new school and when I first got into my new classroom I discovered that I had a Smartboard. I immediately thought “great, this is going to transform the way that I teach!”. Unfortunately, after fiddling around with it throughout the next few months I only managed to acquire what can best be described as “surface level” knowledge of the device (thanks in large part to my students). Now, could I have spent even more of my personal time working with/researching how to use it? Yes but a teacher’s personal time seems to be decreasing by the year. What I would like to see is greater emphasis placed on training teachers on how to use the technology that we have at our disposal. What this looks like I don’t really know but PD days seem like a good place to start.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Scott,

      It’s actually quite startling how many technologies we have at our disposal as teachers, but I fear you’re correct when you acknowledged how daunting they can be with no training. With this realization, it has got to be hard for those teachers that are nearing the end of their careers that have little experience with these newer technologies.
      It would definitely be of benefit to have some PD sessions when it comes to new technologies in school. This cant look like one, one hour, session either. There needs to be a couple sessions so teachers feel comfortable implementing and utilizing these tools properly in their classrooms.

      Like

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