Contrary to my position that I took in the EDTC400 debate, I do believe that
using technology in the classroom CAN enhance learning.
One of the articles Ashlee provided for us, As Technology Becomes Easier to Use, Our Depth of Learning Needs to Continue to Increase, he talks about technology becoming more and more user friendly, like iPhone which don’t come with a manual because they are so easy to use. In this article they ponder if children are more tech savvy or if the tech is that much easier to use. Which to me is a great thing, because the tech is that much easier to use we as teachers should be able to make use of the technology in such a way that it enhances student learning even more. Why can’t we let students use any technology to prove to us that they understand how the periodic table works? We shouldn’t be restricting our students to one way of showing that they have the knowledge that we have asked them to have.
While one of the articles that I have provided the class, The dark side of educational technology, talks about how technology is great but we don’t consider what it means to use it in a way that will enhance classroom learning before we implement it. So as a result it means that many of our classrooms are technology rich, but the technology is used as a reward, or simply to replace a white board, it is not used to enrich learning. And because students have become accustom to technology as a reward it makes it very hard for teachers to get the students away from this mentality of technology as a game.
But when technology is integrated in ways that use the TPACK and SAMR models a lot of good can be done with the technology. This is why I argue that it isn’t about the technology that is being used but rather the integration of the technology. If a teacher simply gets a student to type an essay instead of hand writing it there is no enhancement going on. But a teacher who gives students access to digital molecule models is enhancing their learning because they are now able to visualize what a water molecule looks like in 3-D. So if the technology is poorly integrated, I say that there is no point in having it. But when the technology is integrated in a meaningful way, it enhances learning and allows students to explore their findings and be curious.