Thinking and Linking by Joanne Jacobs
We’ve come a long way since the chalkboard replaced the laptop slate board in 1801..
I fully embrace technology in education…both of boys left government schools for private schools where they were required to purchase computers, turn their homework in electronically, etc…For my kids having the computer was never the issue as they had acquired the basics needed for a solid education either through the things we did at home, elementary, magnet or private schools.
The problem with technology is it does not improve academic performance. It is just another tool. The calculator has destroyed teachers being held accountable for knowing and teaching math. Many teachers do not know how to teach reading.
When you read about technology in the large classrooms it seems like many kids goof off because there are not enough computers for all. Now the ipad is being brought in…
Are educators jumping the gun on bringing so much technology to the classroom when so many kids do not have the underlying solid education foundation they need to be successful prior to adding large amounts of technology? I believe yes…
I am interested in the thoughts of others…thank you
The unparalleled prestige and power of Silicon Valley has the effect of stunning the critical faculties of most Americans, to the extent that most of us are slightly afraid even to begin to consider that new technology might not always be a good thing. Woe to the skeptical superintendent who tries to convince his Board of Education that an extra Spanish teacher would be more valuable than a bevy of iPads.
Overuse of technology has left most young persons in society unable to handle many tasks considered common knowledge 25-30 years ago. All a calculator, computer, or a e-reader are tools, but if persons do not understand the basics of reading, writing, and math, all the technology in the classroom will do NOTHING to help them later on.
In another topic, a teacher in chemistry class cringes when his students have to rely on a calculator to handle basic basic math or to multiply a number by 10 (add 1 zero to the right hand side of a whole number to multiply by 10), these are facts that students should have MASTERED in elementary school (grades 1 through 5).
The fact that people are experts in email or text messaging isn’t going to help them when they cannot write a business letter, or a resume, or fill out a job application properly. Ever watch a person who is engrossed in using their phone in public, they almost block out the entire world around them (which in some cases can have deadly consequences, or as I call it, the darwin effect).
Lets get back to using what worked more than a quarter century ago, and quit buying into the latest fad craze, generally foisted upon us by individuals who have spent their entire careers in academia, with no knowledge of the real world, per se.
The Information Age should not be confused with the Age of Wisdom. Once again, the means become the ends–technology is just another tool in the toolkit to deliver the end–learning. It is not an end in itself, unless one is studying technology, ie., computer science or engineering. Understanding how to access information does not lead to cogently discussing, wriiting or synthesizing that information. As a teacher, I have no problem incorporating technology into my curriculum…but only as a means to reading, wriiting, speaking and problem solving. I use whatever works, whether it’s old or new. It helps to have a BS detector, always.
Too bad many people don’t understand that without the ability to communicate effectively and problem solve, all the tools in the world won’t help them do that.
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