In recent discussions of technology in the classroom, a controversial issue has been whether we need more or less technology in the classrooms. On the one hand, some argue that we are not doing enough to integrate technology into the classroom and because of that children are losing valuable learning opportunities. From this perspective, we need to do all we can to get kids to not be bored in school and we can do that by having more technology based lessons. Giving children an opportunity to learn how to use the tools they have available at their fingertips and not just how to play video games but how to grow their minds and love doing it. Marc Prensky wrote a very intriguing article called Turning on the Lights. In the article, he talks about how he feels that schools have been left behind in the dark compared to our current technology and century. He says that schools need to embrace our new world and find ways to get technology into our classroom to help students not be so board. Kids can learn so much on their own thanks to the internet and very child has things they would love to learn about. Marc proposes that we find a way to get kids to be able to use technology in the classroom to learn what they are interested in. things that are more relevant to them and the current time. “Teachers would no longer be the providers of information but instead, would be the explainers, the context providers, the meaning makers, and the evaluators of information that kids find on their own.”
On the other hand, however, some argue that while technology is helpful and important we can’t forgo old technology, such as pencil and paper. According to this view, we can’t let our excitement about technology take over and lead us to do unhelpful and useless things with the technology. From this view, it’s not as important what tool is used as long as it is for a purpose. Mary Beth Hertz talks more about this in her article The Right Technology May Be a Pencil. In the article, The use and abuse of technology in the classroom by Kathy Cassidy, Kathy gives a list of how she think technology is being used in a good way and how it should be used vs how it’s used in a bad way and how it should not be used in the classroom. Kathy and Mary both like technology but don’t want to see it abused and overused unnecessarily in the classroom. They believe that pencil and paper will never go out of style. In sum then the issue is whether or not the education system is embracing and using technology enough or if they are starting to rely on it a little too much and need to keep paper and pencil around.
My own view is that technology is going nowhere but up and educators need to jump on the bandwagon or get left behind. Throughout the next century technology is just going to keep growing and increasing. Almost everyone will have access to it so why not uses it to your befit; allow technology to help in the classroom. While yes I concede that there is definitely a way to go too far overboard. We don’t want to completely forget about and move past paper and pencil and painting with real paint that gets you messy and dirty. For that is an important thing to learn and there are many things that don’t need to be taught using technology but instead need hands-on learning. However, I still maintain that educators need to find ways to integrate technology into their classroom instead of pretending it doesn’t exist because it does and it can do so much for you. For example, the Mabry. Mabry is like the Oscars but for students and their 2-3 minute films made in class. Kids get excited about making videos and then getting to submit them to Mabry where they are judged and awarded appropriately. Although some might object that this is a waste of class time I would reply that this is a good way to use technology in the class. Students learn about how to make a film and what requirements are needed. While also learning about their topic as they make their movie. This issue is important to me because I want to be a teacher. When I get a class of my own I want to be able to find ways to incorporate technology in the class. However, there are a lot of limitations to how we can teach. So this idea needs to be spread so that education boards will allow teachers more freedom to incorporate technology in their own classes.