After being geeked up on technology and attending ITSCO almost a month ago, I took some time away to disconnect from blogging and tweeting. When I returned, Google reader was filled up and of course I had missed many tweets and a handful of RT's. I have read a few blogs about balancing technology in education ranging from Will Richardson's debate on twitter with another educator to a blog post from the mindful classroom to watching our library director run PD on technology for our faculty. It is easy to get overwhelmed with all that is out there.
(Image courtesy of Yash Bhatia @ http://yash1229.wordpress.com/2011/04/09/future-of-technology/)I am a person that likes technology, but I am also not the first to jump in either. I watch, read, listen, and probably many other things before I leap. It is great that many teachers are trying to figure out avenues to utilize technology, but it needs to be transformative. In other words, how do we leverage technology to create a rigorous and relevant curriculum that promotes collaboration and creativity?
I do not believe that technology is a panacea for education, but there is a lot of value and it is certainly re-shaping the conversation in education. Take a moment to watch Seth Godin's recent TED talk:
I found parts of his talk to be very interesting and poignant. We do need to examine our teaching practices. Students do have information at their fingertips. I do disagree with his statement that there is no need to memorize anything. For instance, I would prefer that my doctor has a certain medical procedure memorized inside and out before operating. Or an example more at the educational level, is the idea that there is some foundational information for learning in order to work at higher levels in a discipline. In essence though, Seth Godin is asking for a rigorous and relevant curriculum that promotes collaboration and creativity. Technology can no longer be planned for as nice to have in a lesson design, but it needs to be planned for intently. To get beyond the time issue, educational leaders need to continue to share with each other so that educators are not overwhelmed. Additionally, focus on two or three tech tools that are being utilized in better and more transformative ways. The K.I.S.S. philosophy, Keep It Simple Stupid, is an important phrase to remember.