Many people see technology devices as saving the world from outdated and old world instructional strategies. They believe that the traditional classroom will disappear like the dinosaurs did. Students today will not learn without the use of digital devices. It's unfair to keep technology from our kids.
I am an instructional technologist. I am a teacher. I LOVE being an educator.
When I started out in my profession computers were just on the horizon and I was hoping that the storm they promised would never reach my classroom. I fought against technology! Then, after being forced to attend a NTTI conference by my principal, I decided to try an experiment. I planned out a technology integrated lesson. The students with which I was working were difficult to motivate, even though they were only second graders. School was not someplace they really wanted to be. However, after that simple lesson which was no more than showing some images on a computer screen, my students started asking that I use the computer more.
I signed up for a Think.com account and had my students doing something akin to blogging. The more technology I stated using, the more they wanted. Slowly my mindset began changing and I started looking for more and more ways to integrate technology and digital devices into my classroom.
That was 13 years ago. Since then I have earned my NETs*T certification as well as a Educational Specialist degree in curriculum and instruction focusing on instructional technology. I have a Masters in educational leadership and administration. Both my Masters and my Educational Specialist degrees were earned through distance learning. I worked hard and I achieved a great deal but I truly beleive, as does Larry Cuban, that online learning will never replace the traditional classroom in the K12 setting. Kids crave face to face interaction with their peers and their teachers.
I do like the fact that in addition to standardized testing and attendance being a means to determine a student's progress, the use of social media postings and participation in discussion boards should also play a part in assessing a student's understanding. I also agree with Larry Cuban that mobile devices will make a student's bookbag much lighter. It will be more cost effective for local school divisions as well.
The future holds promise that technology tools will make differentiation of instruction easier but they will never replace the good ole fashioned school room.
Larry Cuban too sees a place for technology in schools, but agrees that it does not radically change the face of the 'place for education', and says:
'...by 2023, uses of technologies will change some aspects of teaching and learning but schools and classrooms will be clearly recognizable to students’ parents and grandparents.'
Breathe easy my teacher colleages. We are not obsolete!