Should technology drive curriculum, or vice versa?
Technology is an educational tool. A super-awesome-amazing tool, but a tool nonetheless. Unless you're teaching a technology class, then it should be used to support and expand the curriculum rather than being the curriculum. I don't like the idea of using technology in the classroom just to use it; it needs to have a purpose and it has to add to the learning environment or make learning more accessible for students in some way. I am particularly in awe of one of my colleagues in our Special Ed department and the phenomenal opportunities and supports she has been able to provide by using technology to its full potential.
I was wary when my school first got iPads. There was a lot of excitement, with some of us thinking it would somehow make certain problems disappear. I was caught up in this, too. Everyone has a device, so no one will have any reason not to have a typed final copy! Except they're middle school kids. Someone always has a reason not to do something, even if the reason is just that he didn't feel like it. Yes, I can post video lessons and link tutorials for my students to access whenever they need extra help. Does that mean they watch and follow the videos when they need to? Not all of them. Like any other tool, the operator has to want to use it in order to benefit.
I try to find apps and websites that make what I do easier. Easier for me to stay organized, to make my classes more efficient, for the kids to get excited about what we're doing. I don't look for apps just to say that I used tech in my class today.
*Can you tell my heart is just not in this post today? I'm not sure if it's fatigue; I mean, it is Day 28 of the challenge, and burnout from sticking to the prompts is rearing its head again. I also have stacks of papers to get to, which I've put off all weekend. A grueling ten mile training run in abnormal late-September heat has zapped my energy today and thinking of something reflective to say about technology just isn't enough to get me excited. I want a nap, some snacks, a book, and to ignore my teaching responsibilities for just a little bit longer (until last-minute Sunday night panic sets in).
I teach 7th and 8th grade English in rural Iowa and hope to reflect, connect, and share with other English teachers. Iowa Council of Teachers of English Executive Board member. Iowa Writing Project superfan. UNI MA:TESS graduate.