Weekly Blogs: Nov 17th – Technology Reflection

Given the view of schooling in the readings for this week, which technologies do you think are most likely to be taken up in schools? Why? Which technologies push your thinking about teaching and learning? Why? Do these two lists necessarily line up?

There are two arguments that really stuck out at me from the readings for this week.  On the positive side, I really liked the idea of just-in-time learning.  This seems to me to be another way of saying learning how to learn.  I don’t know that this skill has anything in particular to do with technology, except that people often use technology for just-in-time learning.

On the negative side, I think the cost of implementing a lot of technology is a serious issue.  Although many schools have good access to computers and the internet, there are still a large number that don’t.  Cost isn’t just a matter of dollars, either.  There is a time cost involved in learning to use a new technology, then redesigning lessons to work with the new technology.  In the event the technology isn’t really helpful, which is always a possibility, the invested resources are essentially lost.   I think this is a major limiting factor for implementing technologies.

Given the above, I think the technologies most likely to be used in schools are those that are free and fit well into the already-existing structure.  This would include things like the Data and Story Library or the free resources offered by the federal Dept. of Education.  I could also see teachers using something like wordle to make interesting posters for their classroom, or as an exercise in an English class.

The technologies that really get me thinking are things like animoto, VoiceThread, and Betty’s Brain.  All three of these would require at least some degree of retooling how I approached teaching, as using them would mean getting away from the math text and exploring the subject in different ways.

There isn’t much overlap between these two lists.  It seems like unless we start putting more real value on education, and follow this revaluation with better funding, most teachers are not likely to have either the time or resources necessary to make major changes in the way they use technology.


1 Comment

  1. Robin said,

    November 17, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Unfortunately, that last statement may be true

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