Sunday, October 19, 2008

Thoughts on technology, teaching and learning

It is important to remember that the newer technologies are and should be used to improve teaching and learning, not to replace the teacher or teachers. It is important to remember that technology is only a tool. We are expected to use technology. Students want and demand that we use technology. Their expectations are the ones that guide us, or should guide us. Often we are expected to adapt to the technology, rather than adopt technology that will help us teach better, or learn more efficiently.

It is even more important to think of why we use technology in the classroom. First, I believe that we should use technology not only in the physical context of the classroom, but also in the extended classroom. To only use technology in the classroom may limit and exclude the potential for learning, and we want students to learn for their lifetime.

If students are more apt to try things out and explore new and emerging technologies, is it equally probably that faculty will try and explore things … if they have the support to try and fail.

These new technologies are becoming more and more commonplace … for the students. It’s easier to imagine that students know HOW to use the technology. But, how do students USE the technologies? Do we need to RETEACH them how to use the technology to learn? It’s often easier to assume and presume that the students need to learn OUR way than for us to learn other ways to use technology. So, what are we to do?

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