As many of you might already know, I am a little bit of a tech geek and I really do love all that, to the point that even I can see how strange people may find me (like a big kid).
So you would think that being a teacher and lover of gadgets, I would naturally support the merging of two like a beautiful fusion of peanut butter & jello sandwich, right?…well sort of, but not necessarily.
Avid Supporter of Technology
I do not think that many of us can deny how technology has impacted our lives in a positive manner and the fun it has also brought us. We are always seeking better and safer ways to do things through technology and this concept is slowly but surely working it way into the class room.
Bottom line is that I am a supporter of anything that can help students improve their educations, particularly if there are ways to assist pupils with special needs… I mean why would anyone be against that, right?
Can Technology Be a Friend or Foe?
So to get a better understanding to some of my doubts, we are going to have to take a look at the technology that is available and determine if they really do assist with students learning more efficiently?
To do this we are going to look at this interesting post “Best Technology for Education Every Teacher & Student Should Try”
Much of the tech mentioned in this article I think are cool and can completely understand how using them can really assist with the learning curve of the pupils. The reason I say this is because, this type of tech, if anything can help with the visualization process behind what is taught. For example, I can remember being in the classroom struggling to understand the uses of what we were being taught. I vividly remember thinking, what would this education be used for in the real world. Of course I would be given an answer, but if I was able to physically see a real live example, such as going online to watch some video where the equation was being used, then I would have more incentive to learn it! So more power to technology.
Some Times Technology Is Foe!
I think where technology can be a problem is involuntary programming of student’s minds whereby making them think that technology does everything for you, such as being on autopilot while flying across the Atlantic. This is why I feel old fashioned schooling has to also be incorporated in the classroom without the tech side overpowering too much.
Even though I am a teacher, I have to admit my spelling can do with a good checking over once in a while and as I started using computers to compose letters, the spell check tool was a life safer…. well so I thought. I relied so much on it that I never had an incentive to improve my spelling and when I ended up writing pen or paper, it really hit home how bad my spelling really was and that is when I decided to switch off spell check until I completed my letters.
Basically, what I am saying is technology is there to help you, just like spell checker is there to help you, but if you blindly use it without at least making the effort to learn where you are going wrong, then you will never learn. The technology is there to assist, particularly at moments where human error creeps in, but ultimately you have to be in charge and must find a way to find a solution when or if the technology fails or cannot be used.
An Example of Technology That Could Be of Disadvantage?
Upon reading the above mentioned article, I came across the IRISPen Scanner a pretty nifty tool that can scan text from books, store that information and later paste the copied text on a Word document for later use.
In principle this is an awesome idea. Say the book you need to study is not available for taking out of the library, you can scan some pages and review them home. Like anything the concept is fantastic, however, the system can be manipulated, whereby copying text from books, rewording things somewhat and Voilà homework done!
As always, I would love to hear anyone’s thoughts on the matter!