Change in Perception

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On Tuesday Alec Couros came and talked to our EPS class. His presentation was interesting but nothing I hadn’t really already learned in ECMP. Rather my aha moment came on Thursday when we split into our seminar groups. We were asked to reflect on Alec’s presentation and to answer some questions with a partner. Before we even started our professor told us that he had definate opinions on the topic, in a way that let us know he didn’t like technology. Once I found a partner we began discussing the questions. The questions included things like:

             Is money being spent on technology taking away from that of textbooks and libraries?

             Is money being spent on technology taking away from music and art programs?

              Should all students have the same technology access?

My partner had definate opinions on these. The funny thing is they were so different from mine. Once I would have thought the same as her, which was essentially keep technology out of schools, it is a waste of money. Now I found myself arguing for technology, it isn’t taking away from these programs (music, art, libraries) it is enhancing them.

As for the last question, we were complete opposites, for me I look at my niece and nephew and they can probably do more on the computer than I can, and they know how to not get into something they aren’t supposed to, why shouldn’ they use technology in similar ways to me? Maybe they can’t do as mcuh yet, but that doesn’t mean they can’t start leanring. To her young kids should be learning to type and play games, nothing more and older kids should be typing reports and making powerpoints. Now that I know so many more ways to use technology I can’t imagine only using it in this way. It really made me realize how much my perception of technology has changed.

Another question was whether each student should have a laptop. More than half the class said no. There are perfectly good computers in the lab and there are such things as computer carts. While this is still a topic I am unsure about I again found myself thinking about the other side of the arguement (for laptops) and I realized it may not be a bad thing. You see I thought back to how often I would have to email myself something from school so that I could work on it at home. It would have been so much easier if I had a laptop I could just take home with what I was working on on it.

It wasn’t only in this class either. It seems that I end up on the topic at least once a week. No one in my staff group is in ECMP and they all have a very negative view of technology. It feels weird to be the one on the outside of the arguement. The even weirder thing is that I like being the one arguing (normally I always take the middle ground) both in ECMP and outside of it. In ECMP I take the nontechnology side and outside I take protechnology.

Is my always taking a different side a bad thing? I don’t think so. I keep learning about the other side of the arguement more. And I know my perception is changing. I like technology, I feel much more comfortable with it. I know better ways of using it, and I use them in my everyday life. I want my students to have the ability to learn the way I am right now. Do I feel like I have all the answers right now. No, but who ever does. All I know is that my mind is changing and I no longer think it is a bad thing.

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2 responses »

  1. So how is education fundamentally different when delivered with no technology versus when it is delivered with technology? Which tool delivers a better education and by which barometer? Which tool prepares learners for life in this century?

  2. Hi Amber:
    Today I was looking through my Google Reader’s shared items and your blog post was there. It looks like you are getting quite an education at the University of Regina. I wish I had a course like the one you are taking before I started teaching.

    I am an elementary computer teacher in New Jersey (USA). I just wanted to say that it was interesting to read your thoughts. I have learned so much in the last two years. I’ve been on a sort of personal development plan through the use of many online tools: blogs, wikis, nings, and Twitter among them.

    I have to say that there are many educators who believe that technology is an “extra”. I know that there are so many ways to engage students through the use of technology. Last year, my math class had a great time communicating with students in New Brunswick, Canada. They learned a lot about problem solving strategies because they were able to see other ways of doing the same problem.

    I am glad to see that you are feeling comfortable with your changing opinion. I hope that you will continue to reflect on your teacher training and your experiences once you are in the classroom. There is a great world of educators online showing the work of their students. The more examples I see, the more I look to do with my own students.

    Ann

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