Technology or Bust

June 15, 2008 at 9:37 pm | Posted in uncategorized | 2 Comments

Post authored by Shaun McBride
(Each student in GMST 525 has written their own post for our class blog.)

One quote that really grabbed my attention was in the article Learning 2.0: Built for the Next Generation where Jim Ericson writes,

Technology has become an integral part of the way our society thinks and functions. In order to succeed in this Web-focused world, students need constant exposure to new technologies.

Ericson bases his quote on the importance of Web 2.0 and its learning tools. However, that got me thinking that if you see it all the time in job descriptions you must be familiar with this and that in order to be even considered for the job. It is obvious that in today’s world, being technology literate is extremely helpful and could put you at a competitive advantage over someone you’re competing with. The job to teach this technology that everyone seems to need to know will be a big question going into the future.

As teachers, our job is preparing students for life and the ability to learn throughout it. How to prepare them the right way is the biggest question. Do you believe that teachers are not doing their jobs correctly if they do not use modern technology in their classrooms like Jim Ericson states? Or do you believe as long as the students learn math in a math class or science in a science class, the teacher has done their job no matter how they taught it?

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  1. Shaun, I agree that our job as teachers is to create lifelong learners. And to do that correctly I believe we need to teach our students how to use modern technology such as their cell phones, i-pods and computers.

    Now of course all of our kids ‘know’ how to use these devices. But they don’t understand the full capacity of them. No one really reads the instruction manuals when they buy anything anymore. Most people just take ‘it’ out of the package and start using it! There are usually a myriad of other features each of these devices could be used for!

    In the more concrete definition of a teacher…as long as we teach our content area, you are doing your job. But I believe if we wanted to be an effective teacher you need to incorporate all of these different technologies and teach them how to use each of these tools correctly.

    These types of tools will help reach the students that aren’t the best in school but may have other talents that you could extrapolate from them.

    I believe all teachers have enough on their plate for what they have to teach, and adding more will definitely make it hard, but I also believe that just like teaching reading, if you do it correctly in the beginning of the school year, it will make it easier for the rest of the year.

  2. I completely agree with you, Shaun. What is the point of teaching a student a skill if the student is not going to use it? We are required to ensure that students are better equipped for society, and in today’s world, technology is crucial. For example, we don’t teach the algorithm for calculating the square root of a number in schools anymore, because it is no longer a necessity. Not only is it necessary to teach the students the technology to better equip them in society, but it is also necessary to use the technology to promote critical thinking skills. Using the technology to explore the mathematics and giving student more freedom to construct meaning and make connections is far more valuable than any type of algorithm.

    According to The University of Chicago, using computers help facilitate learning. Go to the website and see the curriculum they have mapped out. It’s interesting. http://www.ucls.uchicago.edu/academics/computer/classes/

    Furthermore, the technology can be a great way to integrate several different content areas. Here is a great resource to use for integrating technology in the classroom. http://www.infotoday.com/MMschools/mar00/robertson.htm


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