Module 2: Why do we have digital technology in the classroom? Should we?

Technology is such a major part of student’s lives and futures that it would be irresponsible not to incorporate it, to some degree, into modern pedagogical practices. Ideally it will allow students to better engage with and create material and increase their comfort in using a wide range of modern communication tools. Whilst technology is important, it shouldn’t replace tasks that can just as easily be done by hand, or face to face. The importance of maintaining teacher-student relationships and hands on activities is increased now as we move towards a highly digital classroom. Teachers should be careful not to embrace gimmicky new gadgets or technologies that don’t necessarily aid learning.

The ‘edudemic’ link is dead so I will use this article instead:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/23/technology/at-waldorf-school-in-silicon-valley-technology-can-wait.html?_r=0

What are your thoughts about this rather drastic approach?

It seems more about schools using a system that appeals to rich, conservative parent’s nostalgia of how school should be. I can’t see any advantage in using chalk over markers, beyond the aesthetic. Kids will learn technology in or out of the classroom so I think it’s a missed opportunity not to harness their enthusiasm for it. A big part of teaching seems to be about making the content relevant to the students and I don’t see how removing technology from the classroom in a digitized age achieves this.

I think they will learn many digital literacy skills regardless, but without the guidance of teachers. This could be problematic in terms of online safety, privacy issues and a sense that technology is only for play/free time rather than education and eventually the workplace.

Digital literacy is the ability to read, analyse and create material on digital platforms. It is also the practical skills that allow users to operate a wide range of devices/software. Further, it is an understanding of how the digital world impacts our lives and being able to adapt to new technology as it emerges.

References

Doering, A., & Roblyer, M. (2014). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching: International Edition (pp. 266-268). 6th Edition, Pearson.

Richtel, M. (2011, October 22). A Silicon Valley School That Doesn’t Compete. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/23/technology/at-waldorf-school-in-silicon-valley-technology-can-wait.html

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