When I started this semester and had to come up with an essential question, I felt very strongly that I was going to be dragged along looking at technology that was being used as a substitute for “traditional” learning. I have been pleasantly surprised at just how wrong I have been. I have seen bad uses of technology over the course of the past few years, but my experiences in my Media Production class have taught me that the technology is amazing and the intents are pure. The real problem seems to be the improper use of technology that then seems to place the blame on the programs themselves, rather than the user.
Now that this is where my mind constantly goes – I see articles all the time about how technology is being used as a tool – not a substitute. This is the the key. All this amazing new technology has been created to complement our brains, not replace them. But, unfortunately, a lot of educators either aren’t aware of these tools or only just so and what they impart to their students doesn’t actually allow the students to use the tools properly. They end up throwing all kinds of shiny stuff at people without actually using the programs to enhance the knowledge that they are trying to share. It ends up looking like a lot of flash razamatazz without any real content.
Here is a link to an article about a public library that is using iPads to support their storytelling time. http://www.dailytribune.com/technology/20140320/ipads-as-a-story-telling-tool-in-the-library In it, the author states that the library feels that this storytelling time ends up exciting kids about traditional books rather than replacing them with computers.
I guess as I am gaining more knowledge about technology, I am also gaining a lot more respect. I am getting very excited about the prospect of sharing so many of these tools with the educators I work with.