At times, I like to look up articles related to educational technology, in order to stay current with my field. I attained my MSEd almost two years ago, May 27 2014 to be exact. As technology grows extremely fast, I already feel somewhat outdated but aware about new information out there related to technology resources I would need to keep up with. Occasionally, I read about teacher’s greatest fear: Being replaced with technology. Reading such distorted information can be very entertaining. Marshall McLuhan once said: “we are so embedded in technology we can hardly see it” and these teachers still seem to not realize that we are using technology the minute we open our eyes. The truth is, our society can no longer function without technology, and some technologies have become necessities, in fact, we only notice technology with it breaks because we cannot use it. In today’s classrooms, we still have teachers who resist learning and integrating these technologies because they feel that using the computer room will only cause distraction.
Teachers need to understand that technology is not pedagogy, or better yet, andragogy. Andragogy unlike pedagogy refers to adult learning, teaching adults how to use technology effectively. Educational technology is using technology as a tool and uses these tools and resources in the classroom regardless of the lesson content area. Educational technology is helping teachers with tutorials, engaging classroom techniques, and collaborative tools. However, most teachers don’t care about these tools, they feel they do not need to learn these computer resources in order to teach students to read, write, or solve math problems. The truth is that they shouldn’t. Effective teaching does not mean teachers have to learn the latest Apple or Android apps, learn coding or HTML, or build websites. Good teaching means inspiring students to actively engage in their own learning, researching and analyzing information based on their own experiences.
Good teaching is creating a fun, learning environment to ensure students retain what they have learn for a lifetime. Technology has changed the way we teach and the way we learn, however, basic teaching rules have not changed. Today, good teachers still have to perform the same old tasks: collaborate, communicate research and share resources, manage behavior and effectively deliver content. The only difference is we now have the tools to speed up the process and improve effectiveness. Teachers will always be teachers; machines can never teach students how to be good digital citizens, only humans can, so let’s focus on using these tools to create better lesson plans, and differentiated instruction so that we can build creative and persistent learners in the digital age.