We\’ve all heard the exorbitant promises of technology: it will make our students smarter, and more efficient than ever before. Furthermore, the promise implies that this miracle will happen virtually by osmosis. We merely need to put a computer in a room, step back, and watch the magic happen. If only life and learning were that straightforward!
Those who remember the 1980s, when computers first began to make their way into our schools, may also recall a great deal of bad software. As educators, we\’ve been perplexed by the innovation and are uncertain about its prospects. So we took a step back and let software program writers, hardware manufacturers, and other technicians define not just what we should buy, but also how we should utilize it. In many respects, education is driven by technology.
We\’ve now reached a point in technology where the era is no longer a frightening novelty. Its usage in business and industry is both traditional and anticipated. And there\’s a lot of pressure on educators to jump on board and make sure that students become digitally adept, from the federal government to local college boards to the popular press.
Is technological competence, however, sufficient?
There are three things to consider.
Technology as an educational tool
Technology is a tool that has the potential to revolutionize the way people learn.
Educators want students to learn first and foremost. It\’s not enough to tell teachers that they must utilize the boxes and cables that have infiltrated their classrooms just because they\’re pricey or because kids need to know how to use the latest gadget. Educators will employ technology tools if it is evident that they will assist them in achieving that aim.
The current world isn\’t divided into distinct academic fields. We\’ve heard a lot of teachers express a desire to modify the way they teach, to find methods to incorporate project-based and interdisciplinary sessions. Consider what would happen if technology was employed to help students learn.
Exploration is made easier by technology. However, exploration must be viewed as crucial to both teaching and learning before technology can be effectively utilized. Students in a technology-rich classroom could use the computer to look up material on the Internet, analyze concepts, chart the results, and document what they\’ve learned.
Rather than insisting on a single correct response, instructors might foster a variety of results in such an atmosphere. Instead of depending just on traditional paper and pencil assessments, they may assess learning in a variety of ways. Most crucially, instructors and students may transition from pursuing individual goals to participating in learning teams that may include students from all over the world.
Active learning, on the other hand, is rarely a neat and tidy process. Students engaged in this practice might result in a crowded, loud, and cluttered classroom. It\’s critical to note that this type of learning requires practice on both the teacher\’s and students\’ parts.
To ensure that learners are completely engaged in their learning, activities and learning environments must be properly led and planned. Students must understand that exploration does not imply doing anything they want and ending up somewhere they don\’t know. Educators must realize that kids are learning to read, write, and think when they investigate and ask questions, write about what they\’re learning, and do so in an authentic environment.
In a technology-rich classroom, students do not \”learn\” technology. True learning can only take place with the help of technology. It\’s nothing more than a means to a goal.
Technology enables educators to move beyond simplifying how things are done in the past to genuinely conceptualizing what they want to accomplish.
What an amazing opportunity!
Tool Selection And Application
Teachers must decide how digital tools will be used, and they must be included in the staff development process that will prepare them.
What will it take to reach that opportunity\’s full potential? To begin with, teachers must insist on being included in the technology integration planning process rather than simply being beneficiaries of other people\’s ideas.
They must collaborate to produce outstanding units, and then they must share their learning with one another.
Teachers must take responsibility in helping to build the staff development process so that it truly fulfils their requirements, such as time to practice using the equipment, see teachers model technology-infused classes, and mentor other teachers.
Teachers, of course, cannot transform the educational system on their own—and make no mistake, that is exactly what we\’re talking about.
Have you heard of the story about the administrator who showed up to observe a teacher? The classroom featured five computers, and all of the students were working on a project. Some kids were using computers, while others were working on projects or gathering data. Some of the students were collaborating. Others worked alone. \”I\’ll come back when you\’re teaching,\” the administrator said to the teacher, who was assisting a small group of students.
As that story illustrates, we must also assist administrators in recognizing what a technology-rich curriculum entails. We must demand that administrators give us time to collaborate, experiment, and play with technological tools. We must ensure that our schools provide support for instructors as well as students in their pursuit of lifelong learning.
Teachers are creative, bright people, and if they learn to use technology in their professional lives—for maintaining records, writing papers, and boosting their own learning—they will quickly see how it can improve what they do with their students.
To successfully incorporate technology into their classrooms, teachers must have the assistance of all stakeholders in the educational community. They must abandon the notion that mastering the \”gadgets\” is an end in itself.
They must provide much-needed leadership in determining the best ways to employ technology to enhance teaching and learning. They should want and expect the greatest and most interesting tools to assist them in achieving their educational goals. They must be involved in the technology implementation planning process and encouraged to experiment with different technologies.
Finally, educators must learn how to utilize such technologies effectively to improve teaching and learning.
It\’s an exciting time to be a teacher, and we must grab the opportunity to push ourselves, our students, our administrators, and legislators throughout the country to assist all teachers in making the most use of the digital tools at their disposal.