Terrific Teaching with Technological Tools

Currently in the world there is a tremendous amount of technology in use, and its use will exponentially increase. As much as I feel the need to utilize this technology efficiently in reaching my students, I am also alarmed at the debilitating nature of its overuse.

Technology in the classroom is absolutely essential. Truly engaging students without it is not impossible but incredibly difficult. Technology enables animation, video, hyperlinks, browsers, interactive whiteboards, remote responders, blogs, podcasts, software, audio, and a seemingly infinite amount of collaborative possibilities. Choosing not to use these avenues is truly severing our students’ chances of success in the digital age we currently find ourselves.

However, my classes find nothing more exhilarating than studying science outdoors. Many students at my school would choose to go outside for free time rather than play a computer game. I find this encouraging since there are a great many children who would rather play in a virtual world than explore a real one. While technology may offer a solution for engagement, there is no computer that can match the care and compassion of a quality classroom teacher. A few other questions I have pondered while using technology with my students are as follows:

How many of my students know how to use a paper dictionary and not just dictionary.com? Will it ever be necessary for them to look up a word in a “real” dictionary?

How many of my students have ever used a set of encyclopedias, or do they only know how to search google?

When my students graduate, will they still go to the public library to check out books, or will the library be e-mailing downloads for kindle?

When my students leave the school, do they ever have a deep conversation in person with anybody, or do they only know how to communicate via e-mail, text, twitter, social networks, online games, skype, and cell phones?

Are these conversations fulfilling their needs for true friends/family relationships?

The videos found at

are very compelling, but they seem to only point out how much teachers need to engage, engage, engage. Yes, engagement may be important, but as crucial as it may be, these videos were slightly one sided. I would be interested to see how many technologically capable teens are able to think deeply and not merely broadly.

One thought on “Terrific Teaching with Technological Tools

  1. You raise some really good questions. While technology is often an asset, it has also hindered our society in the areas of individual relationships, personal privacy, and general freedom. (At the college I attended, one of my “computer engineering” professors refused to bring his cell phone with him when going out. Although he most likely played a role in the creation of such technology, he didn’t want to carry it with him, because as he called it “it’s my electronic chain, to prevent me from being free to spend alone time with my close friends and family.”

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