Techno-Friendly Chapter 3

February 24, 2009 at 3:56 pm (Technology in the classroom) (, )

I find the issue of technology in schools an interesting battle. I spent three in a half months in an elementary school doing my field experience, and I can’t tell you how many times the issue of technology came up in discussions, staff meetings and workshops. I find it’s a love/hate relationship most of the time, and it could bring out the best in and worst in teachers. During staff meetings, you could almost see the burning line drawn between the teachers that got technology and those that didn’t. And even though the staff got along great, when technology was the issue, the

tension would build. Being totally technologically friendly, I found this divide

hilarious. And it wasn’t even as clear as old school and new school

teachers. Some teachers were pushing retirement and were teaching me new tricks for the smartboard, while some brand new teachers were refusing the idea of smartboards in their classrooms.

 

 

In the reading, the author discusses the stages of pedagogical development and the hierarchy of needs, better described by Abraham Maslow. In this pyramid, the teaching and learning of technology can be described in different stages. Maslow describes these stages starting from the top of the pyramid, as cultural transformation, collaboration, authoring and lastly, content management. As a student in university, I use these stages in my everyday life; however, the idea of reproducing all of these stages in an elementary classroom seems like a challenge. More and more classrooms are being pushed towards technology, and just recently, the Lester B. Pearson school board has set up a instant messaging system with parents. This all seems like a wonderful theory, however how are the schools supposed to sell these ideas, if the staff doesn’t buy them. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I can’t see that this huge technological push from the school boards is going to be effective in the classrooms if teachers are not comfortable with technology. Even at McGill, in the Education faculty, there are teachers that are not comfortable with technology and choose not to use it.


 

So this makes me wonder: What is it about technology that makes seasoned and quality teachers refute even the mention of online discussion boards and what can be done (if anything at all) to encourage these same teachers to use technology in the classroom? Of course there are workshops and guest speakers that come in and talk about all the great things you can do with it, but instead of encouraging non-users, they often end up by just intimidating these same teachers. In chapter 3, the author discusses all the wonder of the web and how it can be translated in the classroom, however I don’t feel it is as wonderful if the teachers are nervous and apprehensive to use technology. Also, we can’t expect teachers to want to use technology if they can’t see the advantages and benefits. We need to show these same teachers what can be done that is useful to them instead of just giving them all these tools that they don’t even see as useful. Well, that’s my two cents on technology. 


Permalink Leave a Comment