Sunday, February 22, 2009

Some technology food for thought...

This is a little side trip from the usual posts about educational web tools.

When we talk about educational technology, I think we have to differentiate between the idea of simply "technology" and the idea of "technology integration".

If we have kids play online skill drill math games, they are using technology, but they could practice those same drills with pencil and paper. If we have kids punch the correct multiple choice response on a computer, they are using technology, but they could accomplish the same learning with a textbook or a worksheet. This is not to say that any of these types of activities are wrong or bad - often they are more time and materials efficient than paper/pencil/textbook/worksheets, and they can be more engaging too.

But relying on only these activities to say "I integrate technology into my classroom" falls short of the real idea of technology integration.

We must think critically about this when we think about educational technology - are we teaching them to use tools that help them think in different ways, create something new, and think in an innovative way? Or are we just using the computer in the same way we have always used textbooks, worksheets, and the library?

1 comment:

  1. Excellent points! Your ideas remind me of something Marc Prensky talks about: learning how to do new things in new ways (instead of doing old things in new ways). I think some of those old things we do in new ways are time savers, but our ultimate goal should be the collaborative, creative learning experiences that you are looking for. Thanks for sharing my presentation with your readers!