It is well documented and well known that the integration of technology in schools and classrooms is a sign of the times. We use calculators in Mathematics, stopwatches in PE and now even iPads, iPods, ultra-books and the like in our modern classroms. So what? Who cares, if they don’t improve student interest, engagement, passion for learning and assessment results?
To take from another source for a second….
“I love technology and more specifically integrating it into my curriculum. So my students blog to create writing portfolios, learn how to write for a specific audience, and document their learning. We also journal every day in a notebook using that great tool; pencils. My students create wordle’s on our computers to watch for main ideas or overused words. We videotape science experiments so we can post them for parents to ask us questions. We use computers to do our research. We participate in the Global Read Aloud so that we can share a book with classrooms around the world. We project videos that boost our understanding, and yes, we even have a SmartBoard. But the thing is, this doesn’t mean anything if I don’t know how to properly use the technology and then pass that on to your students” (Mrs. Ripp, n.d.).
We attend technology seminars, conferences and participate in global forums the world over and we know one thing. It is impossible to keep up with technological change. No teacher can. What is imperitive is sticking with what works. Not what works for just you, the teacher, but what is working with your students. Are students “engaged” (a horrible mis-represented word), interested or are you needing to bribe, threaten and give detentions to keep students engaged. If so, how is this any different from the 1950’s behaviourist classroom? Is this really what education is about?
The challenge is to work collaboratively. The challenge is to care for your students, your teachers around you and our amazing administrators, and may God help them who work tirelessly to set things in place as we see them. This blog, the twitter feed that is connected to it and the ICT workers that facilitate it, are here to help us work smarter. In this sense, we pray and hope that it charts the development of a school’s journey into “SMART” ICT usage. Let’s not just use technology as a token gesture, but let’s share ideas, collaborate and together we can be great. Tell us about a technology tool that you are using. Share with us, that great web 2.0 tool, or that amazing iPad app. so that we can share it with everyone else. Take photos, get students’ testimonies and record what you can so that this process of using technology creatively and cleverly can continue.
Ripp, M. (n.d.) Technology does not make the classroom successful – the teacher does. Taken from: http://www.pernilleripp.com/2011/09/technology-does-not-make-classroom.html