I chose to look at two articles, “Integrating Technology Into The Classroom” and “Seven Myths About Children And Technology” . Something that immediately jumped out at me about both articles was how dated they are. Integrating Technology into the classroom discusses teachers becoming familiar with programs that I learned in elementary school in the first few years of the 2000s while this article might have give some ideas for what programs to use to my grade 6 and 7 teachers we have gone beyond simple word processing, spreadsheets and power points. Email is now our primary form of communication with families and teachers not in our buildings and we frequently meet with colleagues both in and outside of our districts using video conferencing platforms such as teams or zoom. The Bitner article begins by discussing fear of change and this is still true with many of my coworkers expressing that they are anxious about implementing new technology. The belief that technology should have a learning focus when being used in the classroom still stands. When we bring technology into our rooms, we have to know the why behind it. I am in agreeance that we need ongoing support and training to be able to effectively integrate technology into our classrooms. Often we have the best intentions but lack support, my district is currently trying to remedy this with Tech Learning Ambassadors in our elementary and middle schools, this role while designed to have us model and share new tools with our colleagues does often become IT support. Having a designated IT person available would greatly benefit all of us.
The second article discusses myths about children and technology. Some of these are questions I have asked myself or others. While others seem a bit far-fetched. Looking at the point about children being digital natives specifically students feel comfortable with familiar apps where they are passive consumers of content or where they play games with an immediate reward of some sort. Students are often challenged when asked to create content. Students need a lot of teaching and guidance to use technology effectively. The article also brings up the myth that technology hinders social interaction, in 2012 when this was written social media was not as wide spread, and smart phones were still in their infancy. We are communicating in ever changing ways due to evolving technology and the COVID 19 pandemic. In February of 2020 how many of us had participated in a Zoom call or Teams meeting? Yet with in weeks our social interaction and professional lives would revolve around these tools. Technology is changing not only how children interact but adults as well. The myth that technology dominates children’s lives should be examined, I feel that our students spend more time using technology then the article indicates. The final myth that children need to be tech savvy for future lives is also up for debate, we are increasingly using technology in all aspects of our lives. Businesses rely on technology as do trades and increasingly education.
Both articles give us many things to consider and raise valid points. I think the a look with current data needs to be done for both. The steps to building teacher confidence and proficiency with technology as well as the seven myths give us a lot to think about and both encourage intentional use of technology. The major point of both is that technology can be beneficial for our learners when used with a clear intention and direct instruction on how to use the tools.
Bitner, N., & Bitner, J. (2002). Integrating Technology into the Classroom: Eight Keys to Success. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education.
Plowman, L., & McPake, J. (2012). Seven Myths About Young Children and Technology. Childhood Education.