Digital technology can provide us with information but not understanding. A calculator is a powerful tool for performing mathematical operations, but if you don’t understand how these operations work AND how the calculator works (or at least how to correctly enter the information) the tool is of no value to you. If you can’t construct a unique thesis and articulate your thoughts with accurate vocabulary, word processors, text messaging, and other electronic publishing tools are of no value.
My observation with the current “post-modern” (meaning that the only valuable knowledge is being “real” with yourself and others) generation is that technology is primarily used for social networking and entertainment. When it comes to scholastic understanding, technology is used to “Google” the answer, and “solve” the problem. So, all u ned to b sucesfl in the nu wrld is a smt fon, wth txt, and data plan 2 monitor facebook, and a browser 2 google any answers u mit need lol. Math and science are note considered important (except when parents and teachers demand good grades and test scores). Spelling, grammar, vocabulary and original thought are irrelevent because they don’t matter in acheving your “social” and entertainment goals.
The other bit of of “technology” that is popular with “post-moderns” is laptops, flat screen tv’s and “gaming- consoles”. These are used for watching movies, facebooking, and playing video games. These activities are done indavidualy or with friends. My observation of that this technology is making them “smarter” socially”, but hindering their ability to develop the skills to engage in an intelligent, meaningful conversation and relationship. Also these activities are HUGE time wasting, unproductive activities that can lead to poverty and social isolation.
The real issue here (in my opinion) is a cultural issue, not a technology issue. (Here it comes) back when I was a kid, the only technology in the school was a mimeograph machine. This technology was infrequently used to make copies for teachers to hand out to students. The teachers had the “schedule” the mimeograph well ahead of time so that their copies would be ready for class time. The copies were one color, Purple! The school also had a reel to reel projector which we got to watch “Smokey the Bear” – “Help Prevent forest fires” and “Woodsy Owl” – “Give a hoot, don’t pollute” film clips on how to be a good citizen. We didn’t have any other technology, yet, I feel my education was vastly superior to the “wired” offering of today. Go back one or two hundred years, and you will find numerous examples of highly educated people who had nothing more than a slate, the Webster dictionary, the Bible, and a copy of the “Pilgrims Progress”. Puting “smartboards, computers, and “clickers” in classrooms does not make students smarter.
I envision my education program for becoming a teacher being one with little technology except a white board and occasionally a calculator.
Reflect on your classroom observations this week.
I think students need to go back to basics and lose the distraction of social networking.
Describe good practices you have seen and how this may influence your classroom management style.
Helping students to understand the fundamentals of their course work, rather than the “busy-ness” of endless quizzes, homework and tests.
Based on your first observations or previous classroom experiences do you think student teaching and classroom observations are important for a pre-service teacher program?
Yes, unfortunately, You need to see the good, the bad and the ugly!