As the EC&I 832 class gets set to play in our “sandbox,” I read a great blog article by Tanya Roscoria, as sited by Faire Alchemist that had some key points to keep in mind while we play. As we can easily become “enamoured of the technology… we need to realize that it’s just a tool. Whether the tool is a computer or pencil and piece of paper, they should use it to help their students learn.” This quote definitely resonated with me as my instructor of the course has passed this message to us in many ways. There is a lot of fancy technology and tools out there but we need to find the ones that help our students learn best.
But as I continued reading this article and the ways technology is being used in many different classrooms, I was in awe. However it brought fourth many questions. Will my classroom ever become that way? Will I have access to the tools beings used (such as; netbook computers, document cameras)? Who funds the technology in their schools? Do all classrooms have the same access to the technology available? Who and how many tech teachers are available to in service teachers? And the questions can continue on and on. I work in a school division who used to have three tech teachers to come out to help and in-service teachers and now we have been cut back to one. How can we ask teachers to implement technology into their lessons, if there is very little support for them to explore and find ways to implement technology ‘naturally’ as this blog article suggests?
However, I am glad to see that many of the tools that are used to help students learn such as; Google docs, skype, twitter, facebook, blogging etc. are available for free. So in the end, I guess, “it’s not all about what the newest and latest and greatest is… It’s all about you have what you want the students to know, and you just have to find the best way to get there with what you have.”