I have been thinking a lot lately about being technologically literate. I have been reading posts on other's blogs and observing the teachers in my building looking for signs of being "literate." I have seen a lot of web surfing and a lot of power point slide shows to deliver instruction and I find myself asking- is this right? Where is the line drawn? I think we owe it to our kids to teach them how to create content and connect with people that can provide insight beyond that of the classroom walls. Power Point and "the old web" just don't cut it in my book. It is a hard point to sell, though that the technology so many teachers just became comfortable with is obsolete.
Learning how to be technologically literate with all of the 2.0 tools available today is a daunting task for most, but we are doing our students a disservice be not embracing it.

Tags: 2.0, facade, literacy, technlogical

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Ian and Patrick,

Interesting points. I agree generally that students need help with information literacy, although I do think sometimes they are more savvy than we may think about information online.
Sometimes more savvy than some of their teachers? But I don't think we ask enough of them--we don't ask for the depth of thinking that we should be, and that causes both students and us to settle. Joyce Valenza spoke about this at NECC.

I think the more experiences students have, the more savvy they will become, so it's important for us to be there for that.

And I really agree about the idea of the technology melting away. For many kids it is transparent in ways it is not transparent to us.
I am really glad I stumbled onto this discussion. Having just read through all the posts, I will try to comment on many of them.

First, employing technology in a meaningful way is time consuming. I use discussion boards and wikis in my classes. Now, in addition to reading essays and journals, I have to read the posts on these sites. There is a push in many schools to use more technology in the classroom, but this sometimes leads to those "obsolete methods" that are quick, easy and simple. Unfortunately, the results are usually the same.

Second, even if the technologies we are using now are not around in the next ten years, we can certainly introduce our students to them (IF they are meaningful to the curriculum). This will make it easier for students to learn the new technologies when they emerge. Imagine learning to navigate this site if you didn't already have basic computer skills.

Third "Technology is not a panacea for all our teaching and learning issues." As I stated in another forum, technology will not make up for poor teaching. Before assigning any task, the teacher needs to make sure that there is a pedagogical reason for the assignment. Then he/she must make sure that the students understand this rationale.

Lastly, I totally agree that the technology must become transparent. The students should never be so bogged down by the technology that they cannot concentrate on the learning that should be taking place. I know this one from first hand experience. I designed an assignment for my students to transform a standard linear text essay into a hypertext document. Unfortunatley, I fell under the spell of the "tech guys" who were helping me design the technology teaching component. They suggested that instead of a simple hypertext, I assign a web page. This assignment turned into a nightmare because the students were so worried about mastering the creation of a web page that they were not focusing on the subject matter at hand. (What is important/vital enough in the essay to stay on the main page and what is peripheral enough to be linked.) But I digress... The technology was certainly NOT transparent.

Nowmy philosophy about technology in the classroom is that the use of it must somehow make the assignment BETTER, not just different. I must spend enough time introducing the technology (which should never be too difficult) so that it can be transparent. Keeping these thougts in mind keeps my students and me much happier and more focused on the topic.



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