One of the blogs that I follow often is written by Larry Cuban. Larry is an instructional technologist that is currently working as a professor. He has classroom experience as well as division leadership experience. Every year Larry writes a blog entry about the future of education. Larry and I agree on so many points about technology integration.
Many people see technology devices as saving the world from outdated and old world instructional strategies.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!
_Hi, my name is Melanie Lewis. I am an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher for Amherst County Public Schools,
located in the beautiful state of Virginia. I LOVE my job! I get to
work on my hobby, anything that has to do with computers. I get to work
with teachers and students, and I am definitely a people person. Plus,
I DO NOT have to give grades. Wonderful, huh? Let me know how I can help you better integrate technology into your classroom.
ACPS' 1st computers
I know only one thing about the technology that awaits us in the future: We will find ways to tell stories with it. ~Jason Ohler