Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A bit of commentary on technology in the classroom...

As I sat today in my web 2.0 class I was excited to learn about more tools, applications and ideas that I can use both personally and professionally. I am most excited to try http://voicethread.com and doodle with my students to begin digital storytelling. More time than I care to think about will be spent looking through rss feeds of things of interest to me. I can easily see how web 2.0 can become an all consuming activity for some...

My classmates were first asked to comment about an article "Turning On The Lights" by Marc Prensky. I agreed strongly with the writer about how we as educators need to engage and make our teaching relevant to our students lives. There was good discourse in our group with some colleagues bringing up that technology was not the only way to engage the learner. While I agree with this, in my teaching experiences, integrating technology in a meaningful way for the student, has excited students in ways that other teaching methods do not. I don't think that the teacher has to know it "all" in order to bring meaningful integration of technology into the classroom. A positive attitude and the willingness to learn new things is critical.

In order for the teacher to change from the giver of knowledge to the facilitator of learning, fundamental change needs to take place in the education environment. Many people more knowledgeable than myself have been writing about this topic for years. Change happens slowly in educational institutions. I am hopeful that for the first time since I have been in academia, that the new generation of native digital learners/teachers will begin teaching seamlessly, integrating technology and have fresh ideas to change what has sadly stayed the same for too long.

Integrating technology into our teaching might take more planning time. For some it will take us out of our comfort zone and make us feel less in control. It is a given that things will not always go as "planned". It is imperative that we do it so that we have engaged, thinking learners and not just students that can parrot back to us the answers that we want.


  1. I agree completely with you about teachers just needing to take the plunge into the world of technology. It's easy to hesitate when you aren't an "expert" and most, if not all, of your students know more than you. However, technology is not going to go away and is an integral part of their lives. I found several ebooks at http://www.dedicatedteacher.com on integrating technology into the classroom that were a great help when I was struggling with the issue. Also, I have to say that it's crucial to keep up to date with the latest hi-tech advances, so you don't fall behind again. Just ask your students about the latest trends.

  2. I too hope that the new generation of digital teachers will be able to seamlessly integrate technology in their classrooms. I think that teachers new to the field tend to focus on traditional methods of teaching at least in the beginning. I hope that the teacher preparation programs at colleges and universities begin to facilitate the integrated use of technology.