Technology and Education

Lately, because my job asked me to hop on Twitter and start posting things, I find myself doing a lot more reading and this is wonderful. What is not wonderful is the trend I see in certain spots of education.

My question is this: why do we expect technology to teach people?

I’m sure no one sees it as that, but those are the facts. We expect technology to teach people. By that I mean this: the way they measure whether a course is effective or not is whether or not someone learns a particular thing from watching/reading/listening to the course…

Are you kidding me?

What happened to technology being a tool to aid learners and not being a teacher? I can see how technology helps teachers, but technology isn’t perfect and teachers are more adaptable than computers. They should lead the learning, not the technology. At best, what we are teaching right now is for children to read and repeat. The purpose of education and learning is not just seeing, taking in, and repeating data, but also processing the incoming data and questioning the data and arriving to conclusions about the world around us. This person says it more eloquently in his interview and I agree.

We have enough people that spout of information they happen to read somewhere without thinking first and you usually run into them when speaking about religion or politics…

You don’t want that.

The fact is that while we are excited that you can learn things on an iPad, we are also losing capacity to think or even remember. Name ten important people you have phone numbers for or birthdays you remember or even the name of a website someone mentioned to you at lunch.

See what I mean?

Technology is an awesome tool to help with education and in the hands of a teacher that learns about the tool and realizes it is NOT a silver bullet for teaching students on “full-autopilot” it can be powerful. The fact of the now is that it is slightly crippling.

What do you think?

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2 Comments

  1. I agree so, so much. When I stopped avidly reading and questioning for a few years, I can actually see the digression my intelligence took. I think I can do the phone numbers and birthdays. lol. Keep reminding us to think. It helps.

    (This post is also a reason I support homeschooling… there is so much more of a push to question, explore and understand one’s world.)

    Reply

  2. AGREED.

    I was just telling someone today how I think the internet (which was the particular thing we were discussing) can be a tool for learning. It was interesting because this person said that he thinks it is not only important to learn, but to know how to learn. Too many people nowadays rely on technology to supplant the “how to” in learning.

    I could use all the interactive whiteboards, edu.glogster pages, Discovery Education videos, and technologically advanced lessons I want, but they must be tools and venues by which students learn. They serve more as hooks with which to capture interest. If students and teachers are not doing their own intellectual, personal, and interpersonal exploration, learning becomes stagnant.

    Reply

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