We can’t just ”add a pinch of technology and stir”.
One of the biggest mistakes we can make in education today is thinking that delivering computers to every student or every learning space is automatically delivering a quality 21st-century education. In a world where the range of technologies available to us and the rapid rate of change often overwhelm us, the simplest approach is to adopt the technology we are most familiar with and hang on to it. In doing so, we are behaving as though we are at the end of the digital revolution and not at the beginning of it.
……. The role of technology in learning is to engage students and to enhance the efforts of teachers. It is the skills that are developed, and the knowledge that is gained by using the technology, not the technology itself that is important. We must keep our eye on the end game at all times – delivering relevant learning to set our children conﬁdently on the path to lifelong learning to ensure they are equipped for today’s world.
A room decked out with laptops and iPods with access to high-speed wireless broadband is not a rich learning environment on its own.
The interactions between teacher and students and between the students themselves bring the environment to life and present opportunities for the technology to be useful in learning. The tools that have the most impact are those that allow for interactivity.
There is little difference between an old-style overhead projector and a data projector if what is being displayed on them is the same. Rather than showing students a static map of a country, show them a short video on the country and display some useful websites for them to follow up. Technology should be used to allow students to get involved in their learning in a way that has not been possible.
Technology alone cannot come up with these creative strategies – that is the realm of the teacher: recognising the needs of students and marrying them with the capabilities of technology to get the best possible learning experiences and outcomes.