While reading some recent blog posts coming from my Google community this week I came across this one from Andrew Marcinek who works as a Technology Integration Specialist. Marcinek is writing about how technology has changed across time, but that it’s the teachers’ job to adapt and incorporate technology into their teaching. He is confident that teachers have done that, and continue to do it, which is a great thing.
What struck me a little further along were these words,
From the advent of the chalkboard, to the integration of the iPad, technology has been provoking teachers to reexamine the way they deliver content and transfer information to their students. But, education has never been about technology or devices. It has always been about good teachers who deliver content or information to their students, adaptability, and a progressive mindset.
In short, the classroom teacher, who is an expert in his or her field is still going to command that room with the intellect and array of ideas, but now, with a dynamic device in place.
If you know me, you know that I’m skeptical about thinking about ‘delivering content’ and ‘transferring knowledge’ and ‘commanding the classroom’ as the principle role of teachers either with or without technology. This may not have been Andrew’s intent, but those are the words that jumped out at me. Is this language an improvement over traditional practice of days (hopefully) gone by? What about technology as a tool of inquiry, or creativity, or a source of exceptional resources that lets the teacher’s role change from a transmissive one to one that evokes passion and interest from students?
Is it okay to use a shiny new tool to replicate ineffective practices? I find myself asking this question a lot lately.
I’m also reminded that we need to be conscious of the wording we choose and for the meaning we interpret from blogs without the opportunity for a conversation with the writer. Of course, I’m just a comment away from starting that conversation so I had better do that!