I shared the following yesterday as a comment on one of my “Technology 4 Teachers” students’ blog posts. Her statement to which I was responding was, “Technology in classrooms today are too often dependent upon money, rather than the needs of the student.”
Money is always an excuse that is pulled out for technology not being integrated more in the classroom, and our schools definitely DO need more money. There are often bigger reasons for teachers not using technology and embracing its use in their classrooms, however, than money. Two books I have read and commend which highlight these reasons are “The Flickering Mind” by Todd Oppenheimer and “Oversold and Underused” by Larry Cuban. At a basic level, interactive technologies challenge many teachers’ conceptions of CONTROL in the classroom. While progressive educators commonly embrace the idea we need to differentiate learning opportunities for students and provide hands-on opportunities to “do” the curriculum rather than simply experience it passively, that is a much more challenging way to teach and lead your classroom than the “traditional” mode. We tend to teach as we were taught, and most teachers have very little experience as a student in a 1:1, blended, or otherwise technologically enhanced learning environment. One reason pre-service teacher education technology integration classes like ours are so important is that we need to help pre-service as well as in-service educators EXPERIENCE what effective and transformative technology integration can look, sound, and feel like. Hopefully we’ll do that together in this class this semester. If we don’t change our educators’ EXPERIENCES as students in the classroom, it will continue to be very difficult to change the ways educators LEAD in their classrooms.
Image Attribution: Marco Torres
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