Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Technology's Implications for Schools

The rapid pace of change in the technological world is a complicated issue for schools. 

On one hand, technology allows us to do so much more in the classroom than ever before! We can take virtual field trips to far off destinations or listen to a book being read aloud while watching animated illustrations. Our students can sit at a computer and do research on a topic in a matter of minutes. Kids can do a virtual frog dissection! Technology has opened doors to educators that have never been possible. Technology is motivating, fun, challenging, and seemingly limitless.

On the other hand, paying for technology is a challenge for schools. I agree with 2016 US Teacher of the Year, Jahana Hayes when she states that schools don't have the funds to keep pace with ever-changing technology. Our school computers are out of date after a couple of years, but there is no money available to replace them. I really liked her idea of partnering with technology corporations. With this kind of partnership, schools might be able to keep up with the constant demands for new hardware.

I think an important point she makes is that students have taught teachers how to use some technology. I think this is a valuable tool. At this point in history, students are often more competent in technology than their teachers. Why not let them share their knowledge with teachers? This would be motivating and valuable to student self esteem. It would also help develop the ever important teacher - student relationship.

In addition, there are physical changes in our brains due to technology. Neuroplasticity allow our brains to be rewired when we interact with technology a great deal. Today's children are developing neural pathways that are different than other generations. What are the implications for educators? Does different neural pathways indicate a problem? No one knows yet. This is an evolving field of research. 

To attempt to keep up and stay relevant, instruction needs to move away from teacher-centered, single media teaching to student-centered, multimedia teaching.

In the video Did You Know?, it says that college students beginning a technology related degree will learn things in year one that are outdated by year three! How do we, as educators, tackle that kind of problem? In my opinion, we have to focus less on learning specific content to pass a standardized test, and more on teaching students how to learn. If we do this, then people will be able to continually grow and learn, even after finishing school.


Edsurge.com. (2016). "We Don't Have Resources to Keep Up with Technology': 2016 Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes Talks to EdSurge" Retreived from edsurge.com on 8/30/16. 

Estwves, Jose. Did You Know? (2016)  Retreived on 8/30/16 from      https://www.youtube.com/watchv=uqZiIO0YI7Y&noredirect=1

Gunter, Glenda A.; Gunter, Randolph E. (2015). Teachers Discovering Computers: Integrating              Technology in a Changing World (Shelly Cashman) Kindle Edition. Cengage Publishing. Boston
 (Links to an external site.)