eSchool News released an article in November of last year discussing the gap between how students say they want to learn with technology versus how they are actually learning with technology. Read the article to get the specifics.
Like Beauty and the Beast, this tale seems as old as time…or at least as old as educational technology integration. When I hear that technology is the trend, my eyes glaze over a bit. This is not about a trend. Technology trends. Learning doesn’t. Yet education is still operating under the assumption that if you get the right trend in tech to be a part of your school, you’ll be able to increase learning. While tech may help, that may be thinking about it backwards. As this article states, many schools say they are incorporating technology into the classrooms, but that may only mean a cursory nod to its use at school-specified times. Moreover, technology is often only used superficially. Students are not digging in with it. At least not during class time.
Why? There are plenty of reasons I’m sure, and most of them are beyond the scope of this blog. However, one particular reason pointed out in the article is the misplaced value put on technology. How many times do we need to say “It’s not about the tool!” before it sinks in? Professional development needs to focus on instruction and learning with an understanding of how technology can be integrated. This does not mean it should be. Beyond that, educators need to begin placing value on how students learn. That should be a primary objective in any professional development situation. With that shift in priority, we can take a closer look at technologies that might positively affect it.