15 Comments

  1. Jim Cordery

    Very interesting thought, George. I do think of the two as separate circles, but those circles are beginning to overlap more each year. Twenty years ago, we could say they were miles apart. Presently, I do not think one can make that statement anymore. There will come a time when the two circles are no longer overlapping, but the same circle. I wonder how we would merge the two names when that happens. Great post.

  2. Kelli Holden

    Totally agree, George. Especially since I have seen that “light” appear in students eyes as our use of technology lets them communicate with the world. Sometimes it is with the use of assistive technology, that gives them the independent power to write their words. Sometimes it occurs at the moment they realize people from around the world are reading their blogs. One of my favorite movies is of a student reading the comments on his blogs and realizing that his words mattered. Yes, the technology is transformative!

  3. Hello George and thanks for your thoughts on this perceived conundrum of technology vs. pedagogy. Your last sentence, in my opinion, presents the golden ticket. What are the opportunities lost for our students if technology is not provided as a learning tool? Yes, it does circle back to relationships. But think about the countless relationships that you have ignited and supported through web connected technologies. Haven’t many of these grown into collaborative learning opportunities? Aren’t you and I more empowered learners because of connected technologies? To turn our backs on technology in schools is equivalent to saying we aren’t concerned about students forming their own learning relationships. What is the pedagogy that will help us grow #FutureReady students? Bob

  4. Hi,
    I would like to add that technology had been given to us in order to open our hearts and to look deep inside ourselves. Therefore, we mustn’t be dependent upon technology, specially when we embrace it so much.
    Educators have always walked in the paths of the prophets and our lord. That hasn’t changed thanks to God.

  5. A great post, thanks for sharing! I’ve been thinking about this for a while and still I haven’t quite managed to get to the bottom of the issue…
    I think the point is not about pedagogy or technology, or them being separated. It is about the weight some educators give to technology, using it not to really enhance the educational experience, but rather to make their life easier. This is the problem.
    Pens, notebooks and blackboards are technologies as well, however I’m not aware of them being discussed as being separated or not from pedagogy, in the past, why? Maybe because their use was (and still is) less capable to take the centre of the stage from the teacher and the students, and the educational relationships. Technology is not “only” a tool, it is much more and it is part of pedagogy. Nowadays we can’t talk about pedagogy without talking about technology, but often we talk about technology without mentioning pedagogy…

  6. George – it is interesting how through history, the ‘new’ is seen as a threat, as separate, as nice to have, etc. regardless of the context until one day it ‘suddenly’ becomes the new normal. This seems to be the case with technology in the education context. At some point people will not wonder about it’s use and value to learning, it just will be. Pedagogy vs Technology is a puzzle as well. Both are just tools in some sense. If education is really about learning and learners, then the teacher and what they do is essentially a tool to engage and support learning. I like to think of pedagogy + technology as better together. We don’t debate the use of pencils, pens, paper, white boards, text books (another tool), field trips (another tool), so why continue the debate about technology. What I worry about is with the exponential advancement of technology, our education systems as we know them with either be irrelevant or significantly disrupted one day… It would seem more logical to fully embrace the future (now) and take full advantage of the wonder of technology to provide the best possible learning opportunities for kids?

    Cheers,
    Brian

  7. Hi George,

    I’m glad to see our conversation roll into a blog post. I think the statement “its about pedagogy, not technology” is just to remind us to avoid the “appchuck” phase provided by those “app-oholics”. Good teaching can be done with or without technology, but technology can enhance learning if the pedagogy is in place first. Minecraft for fun is much different than Minecraft for learning. But perhaps the same activity can be done with Lego. I’d like us to move passed “engagement” in it’s trivial form. I keep attending conferences where the sessions are about using specific tools, but not really with purpose. I teach curriculum, not tools.

    As for coding, it can easily be done without technology. In the simplest form, pairs of students can give each other commands predetermined by the teacher (math vocab – turn 90, move 4, flip, rotate, spin, repeat etc.) to move their “friend bot” around the physical classroom or down the hall. I have also seen dominos used to teach “if / else” statements. I’ve written English “pseudocode” many times to teach Procedural Writing and algorithms using sticky notes. Coding is about computational thinking, not writing code – and I don’t need the lab for that.

    But it isn’t about coding…or is it?

    :-)

    Cheers, buddy!

  8. Heather Hickey

    Is it about the technology ? It’s about good pedagogy behind the technology but the technololy still allows us to climb the SAMR ladder and create experiences for redefinition. It’s really about why wouldn’t you use the technology??

  9. Claudia Stepan

    Check out how our school is using technology to facilitate creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking! I certainly see the spark in the eyes of students with tech!

  10. I think technology is a little like money to education – certainly having it makes things easier, and a lack can force creative workarounds, but when it really comes together is with thoughtful application.

    Oftentimes, those of us who are tech enthusiasts just want to throw tech at the problem until it goes away, without any reflection on what the fundamental issue is. I’m with you in saying that there are certain problems for which technology provides a better answer than not!technology, but if we’re looking at “technology” like a giant bucket to dump on any problem to smother it, rather than a toolbox from which to select the best tool for the job, the fatigue of getting tech dumped on their heads can turn the reluctant adopters off.

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