To differentiate for today's students we must use technology to its fullest.  Language skills have drastically changed and continue to evolve.

  • What do you see in your classrooms that supports or contradicts this?
  • How do you use technology to reach and teach?
  • Are you using any traditional methods that still work?

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/article7052968.ece

Tags: eduation, needs, student, technology

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Perhaps the word technology should not have been used, but then what word includes the computers, software applications, Internet, Web 2 sites, web cams, SMARTBoards, and the other things we use to teach our students?
Technology is a new literacy. With the speed of innovation, we, as teachers, have no idea what the world will look like when our students enter the workforce. Only one thing is certain -- they will need to be technologically literate to be successful. What does technologically literate mean? David Warlick has suggested the 4 Es -- Express ideas compellingly, Expose truth, Employ information, and act Ethically.

Too often, teachers throw technology into lessons without purpose. It makes the lesson "cooler" or more engaging. But what we need to be doing is using the technology to teach our students this new literacy, these 21st century skills.

Yes, within that, we are definitely able to teach core subjects better. A student who creates a video lab report for a global YouTube audience is going to remember the material much better than a student who wrote a report only for his/her teacher. But technology integration isn't just about teaching traditional core subjects (where there are good teachers, learning will happen, with or without technology) -- it's about preparing our students, not for our world, but for the world they will enter.

I wrote a more in-depth blog post related to this topic recently. If you're interested, you can find it at Stretch Your Digital Dollar.

Also, regarding the article you referenced, here's some interesting research on how modern technologies have changed the way we think and learn:
> Pew: Does Google Make Us Stupid? (2010)
> UCL: Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future (2008)
Using modern technology may not be necessary to teach today's students, but is not a bad idea either. It can make it somewhat easier and more interesting for them, maybe even holding their attention a bit longer. While modern technology has become a large part of our society, there is still a need for good old-fashioned teaching. Relying too much on technology to do the job could spell the end of good teachers as well. We need all of them that we can keep.
Honestly how do we not use technology in our classrooms to teach today's students? They are already walking around with high tech accessories. I believe in certain traditional foundations that all students should still participate in and utilize. For example, computers should not take over in language arts. I feel students still need to physically write their papers, poems, stories...ect before they are transposed over onto the computer. Yes, I find spell check useful, but I do not use it as a source to spell words correctly for me. The writing process is extremely important and should not be overlooked with the growth in technology. At the same time we must recognize that our students of today are interested in technology and therefore, we can use this to our advantage. The correct use of technology can inspire and allow students to blossom in areas that they may have shied away from. As teachers, we must be open minded to the use of technology, but also question it at times, just like we are to with other tools and strategies. I agree that computers should not be used to teach concepts or to be a baby sitter for certain students. It should enhance the lesson and create a meaningful learning experience.
The idea of writing English assignments seems dreadful to me right now, but looking back at when I had to hand write everything, I appreciate it more. Although I always pick typing something as a preference, if I did not have the background I did I would possibly not be the great writer/speller I am today.
Traditional methods of teaching have always mostly accomplished the goal of teaching students so I can understand why some teachers may be reluctant to change. Though I dont think complete change is the answer, more like just adding to what we already have. The young generation loves technology, so it would make sense to try to incorporate learning into this love they already have. I think using technology in a classroom is a great idea.
Essential, No. Helpful maybe. I say maybe because it depends on how the teacher uses technology. Last year I took a class where the most advance pieces of technology the Professor used was an overhead and a VCR. Even with the lack of technology it was one of the most interesting classes I have taken. The instructor knew his material, and how to engage students.

On the other side I have seen many teachers who use technology (PowerPoint) as a way to show everyone what they are reading. It is not interesting, and for the students is just like the instructor sitting down with a book and reading. No one pays attention, and students loose enthusiasm for the subject. I see this a lot when instructors use the PowerPoints that are provided by the publishers.

Then there are the instructors who use technology as an aid to their teaching not a crutch. They use technology when it assists in the material being covered, or helps to show things. I like to believe that I fall into this category. Since I started using my IWB I have been able to step out from behind my computer, and be more engaging with students.

To me it feels like I'm taking a step back to how teaching was done before computers, but with the added benefit they bring. I use the whiteboard functions more now that I used the traditional whiteboard while I was using PowerPoint, I can write additional notes, work through problems, and illustrate things. Where before I would have to find a marker, work around the projector, and erase it, now i can make notes, create a new page if I need more space, and save the work for later, or to post online.
Yes, I was focusing on the teaching side. I have taught Computers, and currently teach CAD. When I said not essential I was referring mainly to traditional subjects.

However, I watched a lecture a couple weeks ago at another school where the teacher was talking about NTFS Permissions (in a class that I had taught before), and spent over an hour just going through reading a PowerPoint about them. He could have done that lecture with an overhead, and had the same effect. Students were not paying attention, and I could see them loosing interest in computers. They were not learning and struggled when he let them loose on the labs. When I taught that class I spent most of the time in Windows going through the dialogs, and showing the effect on other user accounts. Students could see exactly how it worked, and flew through the labs because they were interested.

I also agree that the learner's use of technology is also a factor. I have taken digital notes in many classes where the instructor didn't use a lot of technology, and encourage my students to find additional sources online.
It's just one of my pet peeves.
Charles I think you doubled back on yourself on this one. Don't get me wrong I think you are right on with most of your posts, and I agree with the sentiment of your post; which I believe to be that just because you are using powerpoint does not mean you are being more affective, but if a pencil is technology (which it is), then so is powerpoint.


Both pencils and powerpoint can be affective, its just more probable that the pencil will be affective; it is a more interactive device.

Geoff
I agree with your statement toward the use of a power point is not the same as incorporating technology into the classroom. I also agree with other posts concerning how to use a power point effectively and that does not consist of typing your lecture word for word. I think effective power points use visuals to enhance the information spoken and to emphasize important facts or ideas. The short bullets should be used to trigger the continues of the lecture, not a word by word play. I have experienced one extreme to another; I have to say that I enjoyed power points that used visuals and small amounts of information per slide. We discussed this issue in my communications/speech class; my teacher was extremely specific about explaining the use of power points. Ever since that class, I have found myself noticing when people do things that they should do. Compiling too much information per slide does cause boredom. Going back to the original statement about power points not being quote technology, they can be used to incorporate technology. In a group project, we used a power point along with our digital story that we created; it was used to give structure and the flow we wanted the story to take.
Charles and James; I think you guys are both on track here.


I agree teaching things like computer science, robotics, and engineering require a different focus since theoretically the consumers of these topics will be the ones who make the great bridges, computers, and technologies of the future. They will not do this by producing a youtube video, they will do it by calculation, logic, and creativity.


Logically of course you can teach programming without a computer since it is the logic that makes the computer possible to construct in the first place, but certainly not practical.

I could not agree more with the two parts to education, but we (teachers) have limited to no control over the learning part of it, in that piece the onus is on the student, and if they go home and employ technology to complete homework, solidify learning, and even extend concpepts then I applaud them. In some instances though, what technology can be used on a given assessment is governed by the state or country.


I totally agree though the idea is to use technology affectively and appropriately to enhance and extend traditional concepts.

Geoff

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