Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Teaching With Tech - Does It Work?

In this article,
Tom Oppenheimer, author of The Flickering Mind: Saving Education From the False Promise of Technology, is quoted as saying:
"When you’re on the computer instead of in the real world, when you paint with a mouse instead of using a paint brush, do research on the net instead of the library, or go on a virtual field trip instead of a trip to the pond, you develop bad habits. It causes a stunting of imagination. A narrowing of mental capacity."
Other seemingly anti-tech concerns voiced in the article include students who spend their time on flashy digital graphics rather than quality content in their presentations, and students whose constant use of text messaging and instant messaging results in that abbreviated syntax spilling over into their academic compositions.
Certainly, students are learning to use computers. The government is spending over $700 million a year to support technology in the classroom. But are students actually "learning to learn" when they use computers as a classroom tool?
Here are two statements that are paraphrased from this article about technology as a teaching and learning tool. Which do you tend to agree with. . . and why?
  • Podcasts are a fun way for students to learn about a topic that might have otherwise seemed dull reading out of a textbook - therefore, it's better to have students learn from a podcast than not learn at all.
  • Years ago, students had to work much harder to find and record information, and by going through that arduous process came to a greater genuine understanding of it - technology provides shortcuts that undermine scholarship.