Wednesday, February 25th, 2009...9:21 am
Technology in the Classroom
Driving to work this morning, curiosity got the best of me and I found myself pulling ever-closer to the car in front of me in an effort to read the tiny print on an intriguing bumper sticker. When I finally managed to make out what it said, I realized it was a rant against tailgaters.
Now that was ironic. Obviously the poor woman has had some issues with tailgaters. But I’m willing to bet she gets tailgated at least twice as often now that she’s driving around with that ill-conceived bumper sticker on her car. The bumper sticker was a knee-jerk response to a problem, NOT a clearly thought-out strategy for dealing with the issue. Someday it could turn out to be disastrous.
It’s the same with instructional technology. Almost everyone would agree today’s students need more and better technology than we had back in the day. But simply throwing money into equipment is not the answer. The best equipment money can buy is useless without a strategy for using it to teach the content students need to learn.
But how do you come up with the best strategy? Much is written these days about The 21st Century Classroom - a concept that incorporates all the tools and concepts that add up to a learning environment that prepares today’s students for tomorrow’s world.
That certainly doesn’t look like the traditional classroom where students are lined up in rows, listening to a teacher lecture about subjects that don’t seem real to them. But there is not yet a true consensus on how the 21st Century Classroom should look.
Should every student have his or her own laptop? Should cell phones be banned from the classroom or used in service of learning? Are tech tools a panacea or Pandora’s Box? Is collaboration the key to success or the gateway to chaos?
As the debates play out, we’d like to know what you think. Feel free to add your comments below…