Teaching with technology

March 5, 2018 12:48 pm 0 comments Views: 36

First, I would like to say that I have mastered the art of procrastination. I wish I had that “no better time than the present” attitude, but I just do not. During my degree, I always thought it was a bad thing to procrastinate, however after reflecting on it maybe it is not so bad. If students learn in many different ways, then maybe it is OK to work on assignments in different ways. I would say I work well under pressure and have produced some of my best work when I am under a time crunch.

Teaching with technology

Regardless, here I am on the last possible evening completing my blog assignment. I wanted to look into a few questions I had about teaching with technology. Is technology useful or detrimental to education? How can teachers remain relevant in a rapidly evolving technological world? I did some research and came to a few conclusions I would like to share with you.

One blog post that I found particularly interesting was an entry titled, ‘Will universities stay relevant?’. The author raises some interesting points, but in summary believes that “…students, who have grown up in an interactive digital world, learn differently. Schooled on Google and Wikipedia, they want to inquire, not rely on the professor for a detailed roadmap. They want an animated conversation, not a lecture. They want an interactive education.”. The author believes that professors may become obsolete in our digital world. I disagree wholeheartedly with this idea. I think teachers need to evolve teaching styles and be willing to embrace technology to provide students with the best experience, but this does not mean eliminating professors altogether.

After reading that article, I wondered how technology will affect our future as educators. I found an article titled “How Technology Will Destroy Our Future” which is one person take on where technology is leading us. After some discussion, the author concludes that “The truth is, technology isn’t going to destroy our future, it’s just destroying the past, or rather the notion of what used to be “good” teaching.”. I like this statement because I think it does a good job of summarizing how technology should not be seen as a threat, but rather a way to improve our teaching methods.

I think where teachers are getting hung up is the notion that they have to be more interesting and entertaining than the internet. The internet is hard to compete with. In a world where most students have handheld devices that they can watch YouTube or check their friends Facebook status at any moment, you may wonder how you can compete. We have to realize that we do not have to compete and for the students who are distracted by their cell phones and texting, that same student would have been passing notes decades ago before texting existed.

In conclusion to teaching with technology

  1. Professors and teachers will always have a major role in education, however, they need to be willing to try new methods of teaching and embrace technology for the benefit of their students.
  2. Technology may be changing the way we teach, but it is not destroying our ability to teach well. If we can embrace some of the changes and find a better way to teach something, we are doing our students (and ourselves) a huge favor.
  3. We must realize that we will never be as interesting as that YouTube video of the talking cat. We can embrace technology as much as possible and step outside our comfort zone to provide our students with the best educational experience we can provide, but students may still choose to be disconnected and uninterested.

My challenge to you is to pick a technology that you are uncomfortable with an attempt to learn how it could be valuable in teaching. Why not sign up for a Twitter account or create a Facebook page for your class. You might be surprised at what you learn.

Here are a few more interesting links that I stumbled across in my research. I do not claim to know all of the answers to the burning questions about teaching and technology, however, I was happy to share my opinions with you. Happy teaching!

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