Educational Technology Philosophy
Technology is changing daily and will continue to reinvent itself throughout the twenty-first century. Education will need to be flexible as it attempts to keep up with ever changing trends in technology. How can we use technology to connect with our students and also facilitate learning through the use of technology? Keeping ahead of the technology curve may not be the challenge. The true challenge will be to keep students motivated and engaged with learning as everyday tasks are simplified with technology. Educators need to discover how technology can direct the learning as student-centered and develop higher-order thinking skills. For example, my Digital Video & Audio Design students collaborate in small groups to solve-problems, execute, and complete all phases of the video/audio production cycle. Utilizing office suite applications, video cameras, and video editing tools students are in complete control of their learning.
John Dewey once said, “If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.” This rings true with the crossroads of education and technology. Educators today cannot simply continue using the same technology in the classroom and expect great results. We must find innovative ways to integrate technology effectively in order to challenge students with problem-solving tasks. The affordances of technology are to direct the learning as student-centered and offer authentic learning environments. The student should learn from building, creating, and collaborating with peers, in other words the student needs to be “doing” rather than sitting and listening.
Sir Peter Blake was quoted as saying, “New technology is common, new thinking is rare.” I think this is relevant to education along with John Dewey’s quote. Technology cannot solely be integrated into the classroom because of standards and expectations of administrators and politicians. Teachers must learn how to use technology effectively to supplement the instruction and foster a constructivist environment for student learning.
Integrating technology effectively into the classroom will not be easy as teachers may be intimidated by technology or may not “buy-in” to the new philosophy of constructivist instruction methods. Districts and administrators must provide learning opportunities for teachers to understand how to add technology to their pedagogy and content. The old myth of the late 1990’s and the dot com boom, “build it and they will come,” is not relevant with technology and education today. Simply adding technology into the classroom without fully understanding how to connect it seamlessly with learning will not engage the student in the learning (Mishra & Koehler, 2006).
In conclusion, my philosophy of educational technology centers around educators being leaders of technology and not just reacting to how our students use technology. Today’s generation of digital natives sees technology as a means to connect and socialize with their peers. Technology needs to do the same with students and their learning by connecting students’ learning with real world applications. Educators need to be comfortable with the ever-changing technology landscape and be flexible enough to guide students in proper ways to utilize those applications. I want students to be lifelong learners. I am fortunate to have a classroom that allows for collaborations and problem-solving opportunities similar to the real world. The learning is invisible to the students as they are engaged and the ones who are “doing.” It encourages me to see those “ah-ha” moments and the “light bulb” that goes off when students have utilized technology to collaborate, solve problems, and construct their own learning.
- Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. (2006). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A framework for Teacher Knowledge. Teachers College Record,108(6), 1017-1054.
- vladgrin. (Artist). Social network, communication in the global network [Web Graphic]. Retrieved from http://www.bigstockphoto.com/image-39758449