Edtech 597: Response to Instructor Prompt:



(image taken from: takingnote.learningmatters.tv)

There are so many opinions as to whether or not technology in the classroom is beneficial. If you look at it from one point of view, we have to make sure that our students are prepared for success. They must know how to use technology to compete in the business world. One the other hand, as Jamie McKenzie states in her article, there really is not any solid data that shows that technology increases achievement/ability.

As I was thinking about my response to this post, I was reminded of a radio show that I was listening to as I traveled home from Florida this weekend. The hosts were talking about the wonderful memories that they had from their childhood. They were talking about how today’s children do not learn about the world around them because they do not go outside and explore. They were talking about how they played outside with used tires, old lawnmowers, and junk that they found in the garage. They commented on how children today stay inside and play on their computers. I have to say that I agree with this. I think that children are also lacking in social skills because they do not play with others. I feel that play is an important part of developing social skills.

I am not sure how I feel about the older generation being digital immigrants. I am not a young person. I won’t tell you how old I am, but the Beetles were popular when I was a kid. I think that as technology has become more integrated into our society, everyone has had to adapt and learn. My own father has an iPad. He is on his computer a lot!

In summary, there are pros and cons to technology use. I think that it does help to simplify tasks and can be a beneficial tool for use in education. As with all tools, it must be used correctly. Children should also be encouraged to put down there iPads and explore the world around them.

What do you think?


10 thoughts on “Edtech 597: Response to Instructor Prompt:

  1. I am very much on the fence with a lot of the things in the prompted questions as well. You bring up some good points about how this current generation does not play outside or entertain themselves with good old fashion toys, something other than a computer or video game. I completely agree that kids lack social skills compared to children of my generation.

  2. Deb, you begin with a key sentence that I believe is at the crux of the issue. “There are so many opinions as to whether or not technology in the classroom is beneficial.” Generational differences aren’t about making pedagogically decisions about whether the use of technology is appropriate or whether it will aid in the learning of a particular topic. The basic premise of digital natives is that because of the exposure to digital technology by this generation of students their brains are wired differently than your’s and mine, and because their brain is wired differently they will ALWAYS learn better with technology than without.

    • Do you think that they are learning better with technology, or just completing tasks easier. For example, the use of calculators in school, this is technology. Is this helping students learn better, or is it just making the work easier? Is completing math problems on an ipad doing a better job then completing the same problems with paper?

      • Geoff, I think that technology allows us to leverage things – in some cases making them easier or faster or more efficient, but it also depends on what you are trying to accomplish. For example, the calculator may allow students to complete complex calculations easier, it does little to help them understand how those sequence of buttons actually achieve or produce the result or answer. So it depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you goal is having students understand how to figure out the problem, paper is probably better. If your goal is to get them to apply a formula that they already understand, then one of the technology-focused approaches is probably better.

      • When I took statistics in college, they made us do them pencil and paper until we understood the process. Then we were allowed to use other software and calculators. I think that method is helpful.

  3. Deb,
    When I was a kid, we built things like a race car out of cardboard boxes and roller skates. Did they work–well sort of–but we had fun building them. We went hiking and looked for crawfish in the nearby stream. I spent much of my time in the woods swinging on moneky vines. I agree that kids don’t spend time exploring their surroundings like I did. However, I believe that technology does have a place in the classroom. I believe that we need to teach students how to shift through all the information that come in contact with on the Internet and how to tell a reliable source from an unreliable one.

  4. What I get from this is technology can be used with any age, but it must be used, as you suggest, within the context of valuable experiences. No matter what age we are, technology can take over our lives. My mother, who is 82, can get obsessive and frustrated when she doesn’t get enough hits on her site, and has had to monitor her computer use so she doesn’t spend so many hours online.

  5. This is a great topic to discuss. I see my own children and how they like to use technology. However, I also see them using their imagination and playing together. I would agree with the comment early about everything in moderation.

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