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What Comes First, Education or Technology?

This is a good article about putting education technology in perspective.

"What has happened is that the existence of the technology has enabled you to reconsider some of your teaching methods."

Technology has sparked a critical change in education. When integrating technology in education, for the most part of the 20th century, the focus was on adding technology to already existing teaching practices.

“I want to get people to start from the notion that there are educational things that they want to do, or educational processes that they would like to engage with, and then - and only then - talk about the technology.”— The death of the digital native...

Technology is inspiring us to change what we are doing in our classrooms and how students are learning.

Here is an example of how technology can inspire a change in teaching practice:

1990s Tech Example: VCR usage in classrooms really started to take off in the 90s. This was a result of home videos and VCRs becoming cheaper. Videos were shown as a way to present lessons and make the content more concrete. Example, showing a video re-enactment of a Civil War batter, rather then describing or conceptualizing what a Civil War battle was like.  However, this resulted in a leasson where  instead of a teacher lecturing while all of the students followed along at the same pace, all students would follow along with a video at the same pace. The teaching/learning style did not change.

Current Technology Example: Students can start off watching a video on YouTube or another streaming platform, at their own pace on their individual devices. Students with hearing impairments can turn on closed captioning if needed. Students with visual impairments can zoom in on the video or enlarge and shrink. Not all students have to watch the same video. Students who do not know as much about a topic can watch a different video covering more information than those with a high skill level. If a students wants to learn more about a topic, they can research or watch further material on the subject. Learning has become individualized.

Technology has improved to allow us, in this situation, to differentiate classroom instruction to create a more personal and meaningful learning experience. The learning/teaching style has improved.

"I agree that technology shouldn't be used at the expense of learning, but I think that is a different argument altogether."

Of course, technology should not be used simply because we are required or feel obligated to use it. Different activities and learning experience require different tools to complete. 

  • What tools will I need?
  • How can this lesson be improved with technology?


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