There is no doubt that technology, if not used properly, can get in the way of pedagogy. It’s an issue that professors and administrators have always struggled with, but it is becoming more complicated as technology gets smaller and smarter. Perhaps if professors were blogging in 1900, we’d know whether pencils caused the same problems that web-enabled mobile devices cause today.
According to Wess Daniels, schools allow technology to take over the classroom too easily:
Even deeper is the issue of whether technology aids or harms learning. People will take their sides quickly on this issue. Should we allow computers in the classroom? Should we make all the professors learn PowerPoint? Should all classrooms be wired for the web? One thing to keep in mind is that technology has ordering power.
One thing we discovered in this discussion about pedagogy and technology was: Technology often times controls the pedagogy, rather than the pedagogy controlling the way technology is used.
Regardless of what the technology is, the questions it raises are always the same. Here are some to consider when it comes time to choose specific products for the classroom:
- Will this new technology help our students learn, or will it simply distract them?
- What procedures need to be followed to make sure the technology remains useful?
- What are students missing out on if this technology is not allowed in the classroom?
- Will an understanding of this technology and the rules surrounding it aid students when they enter the workforce?
How do you handle new technology in your classroom?