7 Comments

  1. David Fellows

    I think we can all agree there is a tremendous cost to implementing and maintaining the use of technology in schools. Are there measurable learning gains that we can directly attribute to technology use? Perhaps a comprehensive cost/benefit analysis is in order before we allocate any more significant tax payer dollars to educational technology.

    • David,
      Thanks for continuing the conversation.

      I cannot argue that the costs must be considered, but directly attributing measurable learning gains to technology use is like trying to determine if a student learns something because it is written in a book. We never question if the learning was effective or not because it was accessed from a book. We question the content of the book, the teaching methods in which the book was utilised, the perspective of the author, etc, etc. More than anything, technology has enabled ACCESS. To information, to people, everywhere, at all times.

      My comprehensive cost/benefit analysis would be focussed on the money we are devoting to giving teachers the skills to use this unprecedented level of access to information and people, and the impact of that spending on the understandings and capacities being built in the students of those teachers. Technology is nothing if it is not used, so examine HOW it is being used.

      Another important cost to consider is the cost of NOT using technology – which if you have attempted to change careers/jobs recently – you might understand can be significant.

  2. Julie

    Learning can certainly be done without technology. But can learning MORE be done without technology? Can learning from different perspectives….Can student work be produced for authentic audiences…Can the feedback loop be faster…Can collective collaboration to grapple with global issues be done more efficiently…Can teachers create real life applications of learning without increasing their workload…Can you think of a workplace…without technology? If we continue to act as the dispensers of knowledge rather than the enablers of unbounded learning we are limiting our students.

    • April

      Julie, I love your last statement! Let’s not limit our students to the knowledge of one person in the room!

  3. The decision to use which technology must come after determining what changes to pedagogy make sense. IF technology is to be integrated, that technology must enhance Effective Learning. While, to me at least, using tablets or laptops to switch from convential textbooks to digital e-textbooks is a non-defendable use of technology, using that same technology to gather, understand, organize, use, and present in support of projects is totally appropriate!!!

    Love the Joubert quote!!! Aligns nicely with one of my favorites from Albert Einstein: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” (Teaching means explaining it simply–>learning and then learning again as it’s taught.)

  4. I like the example you gave about learning violin because it applies to the time period when you were younger, and compares it to now. Let me change the direction of the discussion for a moment.

    If I wanted to learn (insert your favorite core subject here) as a kid, I would just go to the local school and learn from a teacher close by. If I wanted to learn that same subject today, “I could just go on YouTube, or do a Google Hangout with someone who was a [subject] teacher, or someone who just loved playing and sharing how to [do the subject].”

    Many students have access to the internet and devices on which to learn at home; they don’t need to go to school for that. So as a teacher, what are you doing so as not to be replaced by the technology? (It reminds me of the video you posted, George, about Dan Brown – http://georgecouros.ca/blog/the-innovators-mindset-book/introduction-resources )

  5. Steve Stromme

    I also love this quote by Joubert: “Children need models more than they need critics.” Our children need more adults modeling the wise use of learning technology and fewer adults casting a jaundiced eye on their fascination with it.

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