During Opening Inservice we read “Power Down or Power Up?” by Alan November. Some interesting points were posed. I enjoyed his opening where he described the intuitiveness of children when it comes to technology. Haven’t we all witnessed a young child using a cell phone, playing a video game, or exploring on the computer with ease? People often debate the difference between digital natives and digital immigrants, but I believe Jared Mader, Tech Director @ Red Lion School District coined it better when he shared. “Some people have technological intuitiveness and others don’t.” If we examine students we will see the same thing; some students gravitate towards technology and others flee, some would much rather create on a computer others would love the paper and glue stick, and some would gobble up books on e-readers while others would loathe the absence of a book in their hands and the sound of pages turning.
I feel that even though students may not be “technologically intuitive” we need to expose them to the potential of technology; the good and the bad. If I had a nickel for every time I heard, “I didn’t have computers in school when I grew up and I turned out just fine.” I would be rich. However, we didn’t grow up with today’s technology. There isn’t much that hasn’t been impacted by technology in some way, shape, or form in the past 10 years.
Need to make a phone call? Reach in your pocket for your cell phone! Want to find directions to a new restaurant? Get directions off of the computer or use your car’s GPS system. Want to pay a bill? Pay it with online banking. Need cash? Drive through the local ATM. Technology is indeed everywhere. I can’t name one job that doesn’t use, depend on, or consist of technology in some way, shape, or form. Yet sadly, there are classrooms that use little or no technology.
I know, I know…. time, materials, ideas, testing, etc. However, technology SHOULD NOT be an extra! Technology is just another tool for teaching your curriculum. Just like Guided Reading Groups, math manipulatives, and experiments assist you when teaching reading, math, and content. Technology engages learners and can be a tool that makes teaching easier.