Technology – Who and What Do We Use It For?

I just watched the most amazing video. It’s called Raising Small Souls. How I found the video is an example of the ties we create with our conversations online. Another blogger left a comment thanking me for me TCEA notes and that led me to their blog. There I found a link to a video that expresses the “why” we need to make changes in education better than all the talk of a flat world. Yes, we need to prepare our kids for future learning opportunities but we can’t get so caught up in the future that we ignore the very present people that they are now.

We look ahead to the future hoping that we can give them the tools they will need to live up to their definition of successful but we can’t do that if we discount who they are, their unique gifts and talents, likes and dislikes. Each of us has to find our own place in life and everyone has a story to tell. If technology is the vehicle that lets a child tell their story then wonderful. If playing a guitar or painting with oils does the job for them then that’s wonderful too.

Even “back in the day” when I was in school, the classes I remember were taught by teachers who no matter how we were arranged as far as seating, or how irrelevant we now think the curriculum might be, touched something in me that lit a spark and caught my imagination, or gave me an “aha” moment. I treasure those moments even now. It was almost always the force of the teacher’s personality, their love for their subject and for teaching it that made me turn and go down a path I would not have taken otherwise. Often my learning leap was a response to that teacher making me feel as though I had something worthwhile to say on their subject.
Technology can’t replace good teaching – it can only enhance it. It also can’t cure bad teaching. Reading a badly written book online would not make the book any better, but a good teacher can make a book come alive for a student. A good teacher could also help a student use technology to express their thoughts about that book through a video or multimedia presentation.

I love technology – I want to see it used to support good teaching. I also love good books – technology can never take the place of curling up at night with a few cookies and a good novel. If technology can help an author to concentrate more on the story and less on the nuts and bolts of getting it down on paper then it is enhancing the reading experience for all of us.

Concentrating on the story, that’s the real answer. Technology is just a vehicle for telling it. For the audio learner we can provide podcasts, for the visual, videos. We have so many wonderful tools to reach students wherever they are but the tools need good teachers. There is a quote and I can’t find the author so if you read this and know the answer please contact me and I will give credit “The same hammer that can break a window can build a cathedral” We can’t build a cathedral just because we have a big pile of hammers but if we keep the goal in sight we have a better chance.