I enjoyed reading the articles on the use of technology in the classroom. At my school district, there has been a big push to incorporate technology into our instruction. Most teachers in my district agree that the integration of technology is, on the surface, a good thing. Unfortunately, the push for technology has been too much for some. Many teachers feel that the focus has been shifted from the content to the technology. With that as my background, I looked forward to reading these articles and putting some more thought into this topic.
The “Web 2.0 is the Future of Education” article brought up a great point about students and their connection to technology. Yes, kids today are always using technology and may often know more than their teacher, but students must learn how to use this technology and how to get the most out of it. I believe THAT is our role as educators. We need to get students to take the technology they’re using in their personal lives, and showing them how to use it efficiently and effectively in the academic world.
The other sources focused more on why it is so important for students to be learning and using technology. “The times they are a-changin’.” Thomas L. Friedman and the “Did You Know 2.0” video provide startling facts and anecdotal evidence that support the previously mentioned quote. Although I do agree that information found in sources like this can be fear-mongering at times, it doesn’t mean we should ignore it. Regardless of what other countries are doing, we should be preparing our students for their future. The future will surely be different than what we are dealing with today.
So how do we prepare students for a future that we can’t predict? That’s where the last article comes in. I feel that we need to prepare students with the skills that will allow them to compete for college seats and global jobs. I thought this article provided a great outline of those skills. The five skills listing in this article were adaptability, complex communication skills, non-routine problem solving, self-management, and systems thinking. These skills have always benefitted people in the past. Those with these skills probably tended to be more successful than a person lacking some of these skills. No longer can we just hope our students have these skills. We need to incorporate these skills into our classrooms. Lessons and activities that work in these skills will help prepare the students for 21st century skills. The book suggested that inquiry based learning is a great way to accomplish these skills.
Overall, I found the readings very thought provoking. I agreed with most of what was said. Technology is not an end, but it can be a means to an end. Technology should be used when it supports and benefits the instruction, not merely for the sake of using technology. I’m looking forward to learning more about how to use technology to support my learning objectives.