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07/16/2013

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This article is very refreshing to read. I have been an educator for 10 years and a mother for nineteen. My oldest son has struggled with school throughout his entire experience. He didn't struggle in that he wasn't smart enough, instead he struggled with the opposite of being too smart and bored at every school that we tried. We tried private, public, and then charter and while the charter was the closest to meeting his needs, it was just satisfactorily and still didn't push him to his fullest potential.

I see the same thing happening with my eleven year old now. He is one of these "21st century" kids; he has his own website, youtube channel, and blog. He manages his own Minecraft server, sets his rules and administrators, programs mods, and so much more. This kid loves technology! However, when he goes to school, rarely does he get to use these skills. He is presented worksheet after worksheet and thus spends most of his time daydreaming.

As a teacher, while I was very passionate about technology in the classroom, most were not. This is a shame. Some teachers did begin to use technology but their idea was that if they had this piece of technology or device, then their classroom would be amazing. As we read above, technology isn't the key. It does need to have excellent pedagogy and then placing the tools to enhance it!

My point is, without good pedagogy and technology, then we are short changing out students and not preparing them for the real world they will experience when they grow up!

I love that technology has made it so that we can reach individual student needs. My students are no longer a "group" that I am throwing information at. They are now individuals, and as individuals I can reach their individual needs with the assistance of technology.

This article makes some excellent points that tend to go against popular thought in education: that computer and other new technology is a tool that should be used appropriately. Many of us have probably seen an educator who has fallen in love with a specific technology and tries to use it in every lesson whether appropriate or not for that particular use. That does not make the classroom more efficient.
Not that efficiency is necessarily the focus for classroom activity. However, if we can use technology, as noted in the article, to make the repetitive tasks less so, then we can devote more time to the task of presenting situations where the students can increase their knowledge.
The 'wow' factor of technology may work to increase engagement, however, students can see through the curtains at the Great Oz, and tend to ignore the directions, just as Dorothy did in Baum's classic.

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