Warning I kinda have a soapbox today. Now you were warned, my soapboxes are ramblely too. I am stepping up there. This past week I have heard/read so many comments about schools/teachers using technology because it is fun so kids are engaged. Ugh. That is not why we need to be integrating technology into curriculum. Period. If that is your hook for resistant teachers, ok I can buy that, if that is your philosophy, I disagree. We need to use it because of many other reason than that.
I saw a tweet this week that said “you can be a good teacher and not use technology.” Yes you can be a “good” teacher, but that is all, you cannot be a great teacher, you cannot be a teacher preparing students for 1999, let alone 2018. Yes your test scores will probably be pretty good but you have just cheated your students out of an education they deserve. Your kids are in danger because you did not teach them internet safety or model those skills.
Today Apple announce iBooks2. Textbooks on the iPad. Cool. I guess, it only becomes new and relevant when you look at the creation side of it. A textbook on an iPad is still a freaking textbook. And word to the wise, a digital textbook is not more “fun” than the smelly ones falling apart in my classroom. It is still the same thing, wow factor wears off after a day. It is about as fun as taking a test online. Woowhoo a test – no never heard that.
Last week I got a set of ActivExpressions. Love them, love what I can actually do with them. Someone said “The kids are going to have so much fun with those.” Um probably not “fun.” Will they be engaged? Will I have immediate feedback to see if what they are learning? Will my lessons I use them with be fun? Yes to all of those, but plugging in answers will not be the “fun” part.
The tools are not to be the focus and more than likely if the lessons are “fun” the technology is just part of it. I hate the thought that teachers assume adding technology into their lesson will make kids enjoy it. That PowerPoint is not enjoyable. I worry when the class climate does not change if these teachers become frustrated or discouraged.
Fun should not be the goal. Preparing for their future, being relevant should be the goal. Think about it, what you are doing is not “fun.” You are using technology, right? If you read this blog, you probably are reading others, so you are learning, right? These are positives, just not “fun.” Maybe enjoyable, not “fun.” How many times today outside of school have you used a paper and pencil? Even in my classroom I run low on pens, I only use them to make list or put my signature on things. See my point? Technology is relevant, it is something they use everyday. The more we use them in the classroom the more we model safe use. The more we teach them to use it with ease and properly. The more the students see technology as a tool to help them in their educational journey. The more the students see it as more than text messages and Facebook. That is why we should integrate technology.