Day 28: Technology Driving Curriculums? @teachthought #reflectiveteaching #reflectiveteacher

Day 28: Technology Driving Curriculums? @teachthought #reflectiveteaching #reflectiveteacher

Day 28

Respond: Should technology drive curriculum, or vice versa?

I think that we are in a tender trap of educational technology right now. Too many administrators are piling on and thinking, “What can we do to be on the cutting edge?” Without stopping to think, “Why do we want to be on the cutting edge?”

Our elementary schools recently bought iPads for each and every elementary student and teacher in the district. We already offer laptops to all students 7-12. We have technology busting the seams of our schools.

However, I do not think that these decisions were mindful. Teachers haven’t been well-trained on how to incorporate technology into the classroom. Students are not mindful about how they use technology.

When I walk through the halls of the school, I see maybe 1/3 of our students using their computers for something “constructive” or “educational.” Most of what I see are shoe advertisements, video games, and youtube videos. And while they are on the laptops, they are also texting and chatting on their phones.

So my answer is that curriculum should drive technology. If we start forcing ourselves to teach to technology rather than asking mindful questions about why? and how? then we run into the trap that we seem to be in now… let’s just pile on technology for the sake of saying we are using technology.

I think that we need to slow down and take a step back. All too often, when technology fails in my classroom (and it always does), I have students take out a sheet of paper and a pen or pencil (also technology) to listen, write and talk. I think that they can learn just as much through this as they can through creating things on their computers.

I know I sound like  curmudgeon luddite, but this year has been an eye-opener for me.

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