What is Technology?

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I’m writing this on a chromebook,

over wifi,

while engaging in a twitter chat

with other adminstrators on the importance of maker spaces

in schools.

Technology is important. But technology is not the materials we use, it’s a concept. It’s the concept that whatever we’re using, it is enhancing our ability to learn, to teach, to connect, to share, and to create. I firmly believe that the overriding principles of school today are the 4 C’s: Critical thinking, Collaboration, Communication, and Creativity. Computers, ipads, internet, 3D printers, document cameras, and devices of all kind can enhance a student’s learning if applied in use under those principals.

We have to ask ourselves:

1. Does this help my student think deeply or answer a question that opens a door?

2. Does this help my students work together and share their ideas?

3. Can my students make something new, or in a creative way show me that they understand what they’ve learned?

If yes is the answer to any or all of those questions, then that object of technology is useful and should be encouraged in the school and in your classroom. If not, find something that is.

I have an extensive background in trying new things. I’ve been trying new things since I got bored with old things as a child. I have experience with Smart boards, Promethean boards, interactive projectors, Windows, Microsoft suite, Google drive and Google apps for education (gafe), iPads, Chromebooks, Genesis, Powerschool, online textbooks, social media for school and more.  None of these things were on my hotlist of technology to try.  I simply came across them one day, or had them placed in my classroom from higher admin.

Use what you have. Try what you can. Keep what works.

2 Comments

  1. Great thoughts! I was recently at the Art Institute in Chicago, investigating the vast collection of Impressionism. Upon examination of one particular painting “Paris Street; Rainy Day”, painted almost 150 years ago, a colleague shared that it was painted around the same time umbrellas began to be widely manufactured, sold and used for rain protection. It struck me that this painting was at least in part about technology. This gave me pause to reflect on the fact that technology is not just about today’s screens and digital devices. Technology is about the creation and use of tools for enhancing and supporting many types of experiences.

    1. What a great insight. Thanks for your comment. In order to accurately assess how a teacher is using technology in a classroom, we should look at it from the perspective of this painting. What has been brought into the room that is being used by everyone for their advantage?

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