Click here to read “Technology in the Classroom: Don’t Believe the Hype” A few points toward the end resonate with me.
Enyedy believes that technology in the classroom has a valuable role to play in American education, but its potential has, to a large extent, been squandered by empty promises, ill-defined goals and outdated strategies. Personalized instruction – tailored mostly to the use of desktop computers – cannot transform learning when technology has moved on.
“We need a new vision for educational technology,” he writes. “We need technologies that are based on what we know about the process of learning an take advantage of the mobile, network technologies of today.”
Among Enyedy’s recommendations:
-Continue to invest in technology but take a more incremental approach. Policymakers should also be more skeptical about some of the more hyperbolic claims put forward by tech companies.
-Create more partnerships between developers and educators to truly discover what works and what doesn’t in the classroom. “We cannot trust market forces alone to sort out which systems are effective,” Enyedy writes.
-School administrators must ensure that rigorous professional development accompany new investments in technology to build “skills that have not historically been in the teacher toolbox.”
In my experience, teachers lack training in even the most essential technologies. It is clear we need to slow down when iPads are being purchased in volume and put in the hands of teachers who don't even know how to work their email. How can educators be equipped to empower students to use more advanced technologies unless they are supported with proper training and curriculum? Widespread adoption of a new technology takes a lot of time and costs a lot of money.
I am passionate about technology and hope it's place in the classroom continues to evolve, but we have to be careful not to buy into any one platform before it has proven worthy. It is possible to be hyped about technology without buying into the empty idea that any one device or software platform will single handedly usher students into the next generation.
This is why I maintain that technology is most undoubtedly effective when used by just the teacher. Using tools like the iPad, Mac, and the awesome software available on them, I am a much more productive, engaging, and communicative teacher. This is a core part of who I am and a core part of my students learning experience, even if they never touch a screen. Best of all, the technologies I implement personally only become more useful as I gain more experience with them.