“Given the realities of our modern age and the demands of our children’s future, is it really ok to allow teachers to choose whether or not they incorporate modern technologies into their instruction?”
Here’s the deal in my eyes. We live in this big world that is constantly changing, filled with creative minds who are constantly innovating. This world is getting bettered every single day by the power of technology- and it’s happening fast. So, without beating around the bush and longer, my response to this loaded and very controversial question is no, teachers should not be able to choose whether or not they incorporate modern technologies into their instruction.
When considering technology and the integral role it plays in our society today, a video i’ve recently watched comes to mind:
My initial reaction to the ways that this video moved me: wow. What an incredible, ground breaking year 2012 was. Moreover, this video highlighted a plethora of advances in man kind, all captured by film, all captured by the use of technology. It portrayed campaigns, revolutions, internet sensations: all of which started with the click of a mouse.
With all of ways that technology has touched our world, why is it that so many teachers stick to their traditional ways? My thoughts are that they either A) Don’t know about it yet B) If they have heard of it, don’t have any idea how to use it or C) Want to teach the ways in which they were taught. There is a very big reason why C can be detrimental to the future of education. If I were to walk into my first day of teaching and go about it with idea C in mind, this is what my classroom would look like:
- desks all in rows and columns
- teacher at the front of the classroom
- chalkboards, a few wall decorations, and bookshelves that seem to never end
Now, lets compare this mental image to a real picture from the 1940’s:
Can you spot any immediate differences? I know I can’t. How scary is it to think that over 50 years had passed between the time that this photo was taken, and my first day of kindergarten, in yet the most obvious changes can probably seen in the clothing students wear? Especially considering we live in a generation when things like this are happening:
At just 2 years old, we already have babies who are mastering technologies that adults can’t even understand. Can you imagine the possibilities? What will this child’s knowledge of technology look like in 10 years?
This is not to say that I think children should all have iPads glued to them from the moment they start their school day. As is with most things, moderation is key. Teachers need to remain sensitive to new technologies available to use in the classroom, while weighing out the pros and cons for each one. There needs to be an appropriate balance when using technology so that students won’t learn to depend on it. Technology should enhance education, not take over it.
The reality that this all boils down to is that we cannot simply ignore technology in the classroom, because the second our students step out of the classroom, they are engulfed in a world that revolves around it. If we are setting our inventors of tomorrow up to be ill-equipped, how can we expect them to flourish and create new ideas? We can’t.