Friday, May 13, 2011

Teachers vs. Technology

In about a year from now I hope to be a professional English teacher. My experience with middle and high school English was wonderful (or I probably wouldn't be going into that field), but it was almost completely void of technology. Occasionally I would make a video for a project. Every once in a while we would do a traditional research paper with a little bit of the research on the internet. Besides that, we sat around and talked about books, or we got out our paper and pencils and wrote some solid five-paragraph essays.

Teaching methods are changing. This is obvious. Many teachers are embracing technology and allowing it to enrich their classrooms. Some are resisting. My classmate, Ashley Nelson, bookmarked an article on the future use of Google Apps in public schools. While my initial response should have been, "Wow, that's awesome! I wonder how I will be able to incorporate that into my teaching methods to benefit my students," it was instead, "Dang, that sounds like it will take a lot of effort on my part. Is it even worth it?"

I know. I'm a terrible person. I have taken plenty of technologically-rich classes in college, and I have seen how technology can benefit pedagogy. Maybe it's because of my experience with technology in the classroom that I am so aware of how difficult it can be to implement. Every new technology that we believe will benefit our classrooms is worth exploring, but we can't expect smooth sailing from the infancy of our digital experiments.  And if something just doesn't work, we need to be willing to drop it.

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