The response to the KQED Forum show yesterday about the use of technology in education has been lively.

One commenter believes that “edutainment, gizmos, and gadgetry do not belong in the classroom,” while another wrote, “It’s apparent we’ll always be more enamored with our tech toys than with doing the work of developing emotional/relational skills.”

To keep the discussion going, here’s my response:

What I’d add to the mix is the idea that the use of technology is already all around us — whether it’s a cell phone or access the Internet, both of which the vast majority of people use on a daily basis. Many education technology advocates propose leveraging those tools to add yet another dimension to the learning process — not to do away with successful traditional best practices.

Each student absorbs and retains information in a different way, and sometimes tech tools can advance and even improve that learning process. What’s important is to educate them about how to use those tools — which are not going away anytime soon — judiciously. To teach them the critical skills to use technology for all its benefits.

I’d love to hear more thoughts as they pertain to the subject.

  • This discussion is fascinating, multi-faceted and endless. THANK YOU! As a classroom high school teacher I am keeping my eye on balance. Balance in curriculum, the overall school culture and balance for the “whole” student. I think the job of schools going forward is to argue the purposes of every assignment (whether using tech or not.) Where does the assignment fit in the overall learning arch for the student? How does it relate to prior knowledge or exposure? What skills does it build on? and how do these skills apply to the schools goals. It's a tough job but I think we (educators) can make it fun!)

    The current challenge of schools is the make the time for teachers and students to reflect and develop a “slow and steady” approach over four years to help high school students learn and grow.
    Tech is seductive and enriching, but so is touching and arranging rocks by color, pattern, weight or mineral content. Students need balance.

    • Tina Barseghian

      Well said, Lisa! Thanks for your feedback.

      • Lisa Bostwick

        As I think more…. I see that more options is actually a mixed blessing without the piece I mentioned above: reflection by educators to build the “slow and steady” scaffolding necessary to make all the new tech relevant and meaningful.

        Keep up the good work and look forward to some really concrete ideas about how to help educators keep the seduction of gadgetry and “WOW” factor from undermining the importance of asking WHY? and to what purpose?


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