Promote and model digital etiquette and responsible social interactions related to the use of technology and information.
In today’s rapidly evolving educational landscape, understanding the impact and importance that technology plays, is vital in ensuring the best possible education is being delivered. However, “Meaningful technology education is far more than learning how to use technology” (Nature of Technology 1). Obviously, understanding how to use particular software’s and applications is important within teaching, but to fully utilize all that technology offers, educators, and students, must also understand what technology actually is, and how and why it is developed (Nature of Technology 1). Philosophically, the reason for the necessity of this analysis, is because we need to make sure that we are not using technology just for the sake of technology, bur that it is adding to our lives, and not taking away from it.
The Nature of Philosophy, delves heavily into the philosophy analysis of how technology truly impacts the human condition. Especially in Chapter 2, Know Thy Cyborg-Self, taking excerpts from Socrates, Aristotle, Descartes, and Heidegger, Gordon Hall outlines a thoughtful examination of how past philosophers took issue with particular aspects of technology, and the negative influence it can have on a society. When taking these theories into the purview of the integration of technology in education, one must truly think about how as a teacher, you implement its role in your classroom. Using technology in your classroom may make certain tasks easier and more streamlined, but unless the technology is actually adding to the students’ lives in a meaningful fashion, it may be more of a detractor than positive inclusion. I believe this line of thought works well with the SAMR model in regards to technological use within your classroom. Within the model, the ideal use of technology in the classroom, is when technology works to actually modify and redefine the task, and not just act as a low-level substitution.
As educators we must begin to take a serious consideration of how we are using technology in our classrooms. It is simple to just put on a video in class, or have the students search the internet for information; but does this actually help our students, or just use technology because it is available to be used?
Not only do we as educators need to focus on how we are employing the use of technology in our classrooms, but also the affect it has on our students and their development. The use of technology is not always the best solution or option for our students, or the world at large. “During the twentieth-century, each new technology emerged as the panacea for educations socio-cultural problems. Unfortunately, each new technology has failed to deliver on its promise” (Nature of Technology 101). Educators need to make sure that when we are teaching for our students, that the focus and learning is an actual objective and that the technology being used (if being used) is only a medium. We cannot rely on technology alone being a savior or having a positive impact purely because it is new and innovative. If we do not focus on the development of the individual child, then the technology takes on a bigger role in their lives than the actual education.
In my classroom, I want to stay cognizant of the fact that technology is perfectly acceptable to use within my classroom, and something that I certainly plan to continue using. However, simply using technology because I have access to it, is a meaningless action at best, and possibly something with negative outcomes if not properly used. If I don’t explicitly model the correct use of how to access and interpret information, or how to have appropriate and meaningful conversations through the use of the technology, then the students will be at the mercy of what they know how to do and what the technology implicitly teaches them. As Niederhauser states, the age of information has been upon us since the invention of the Printing Press by Gutenberg, and now with modern technology, it has reached a stage of mass-media and mass-information (Nature of Technology 12). We, as a people, have become inundated with information, both good and bad, and without an understanding on how to properly use it, technology becomes a detractor rather than an instrument of positivity. All in all, I want to employ the positive benefits of technology in my classroom by making sure I do not just use it, to use it. I must teach how to access information, how to analyze, what is trustworthy, and what is not, when is it appropriate to use it, and when is more interpersonal action better for my students’ development. By keeping my students’ best interests in mind, and making sure that I think of their individuality within my lessons, I feel as though I will be better suited to employ technology positively and effectively in my classroom.
Niederhauser, D. S., Olson, J. K., & Clough, M. P. (2013). The Nature of Technology: Implications for Learning and Teaching. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.