Imagine an episode of CSI where the main character doesn’t “do” technology:
“No, I’m really not comfortable with technology. I manage just fine without it.”
Arguments go around and come back again about the role technology should play in the classroom. Should it be a subject? Should we have standards? Should it be mandated or optional? Some people argue that technology is simply a tool to be applied where and how it’s appropriate. Others say no technology is neutral and we have to be deliberate in our choices to use it.
In my view, technology can’t be optional and it can’t be an add-on.
Technology, according to my favorite dictionary, is “the practical application of knowledge” or “a capability given by the practical application of knowledge.” For an educator to say he or she doesn’t “do” that seems a little silly.
Of course when we talk about “technology in the classroom” we’re usually being a bit more specific and referring to digital technology. Even so, I think it should be unavoidable.
Everything that we can do using digital technology can certainly be done in some other way. As I understand it, technology gives us three capabilities: to do things
- More efficiently
- More precisely
- More thoroughly
Technology advances give all of us—doctors, forensic scientists, teachers, and students—the ability to make better decisions and solve more complex problems. Do we have the right to say, “I don’t do that”? Perhaps if it were only an individual decision. But educators have accepted responsibility for the growth of the students in their care, and choosing to avoid technology for themselves leaves their students with no choice.
So what am I missing? Where has my logic taken a left turn? How does this play out in your situation?
I agree. I am flabbergasted sometimes with comments folks make sometimes about technology. Your blog makes perfects sense. Some folks seem proud that they “still use paper.” Even administrators. We must embrace new ways to work. Be open to explore them. Find ways to become more efficient.
I agree with your thoughts and am constantly blown away by teachers who insist on doing things the way they were done 30 years ago. If we are to model learning, we need to be learners, and that includes ways to use technology.
I think your logic is spot on!
Your medical and legal analogies are poignant and I intend to share this with staff who still think of educational technology as merely a bell or whistle.
Teachers that say they don’t do technology are incorrect. Most people do not realize that there are different types of technology. Low technology includes textbooks, chalk, whiteboards etc. High technology includes video, audio, and computers. Teachers that resist technology are usually afraid of using something “new”. I even know people who resist using computers because they are afraid of breaking it. Once you let people know they have always used technology, people are a lot less resistant to trying something assuming they can get the coaching necessary to change their pedagogy. I read that it takes over 150 hours of professional development/ effort to alter a classroom culture.
I think it’s easier to say “I don’t do technology” so you don’t have to feel the pressure of trying it. We ask our students to take risks in our classrooms everyday by trying to answer questions to which they might not know the answers.…we should take the same kind of risk and ‘try technology’. We might find that we really can DO it!!! I think I can, I think I can.….
My recent post Tornado Information for Kids
I agree with this very much. How can we expect students to adapt when we ourselves can not? People tend to follow how they are lead. If you want students to be more accepting and open, they we, as their leaders, should encourage that through our own actions and comments.