We have work to do!

The March issue of NEA Today had a nice article about technology in the classroom.  The April issue just arrived in my mailbox.  Many letters were sent in and published about the article most were supportive of the idea of expanding the use of technology but read the following about what we still have to over come

     "Obsolescence comes out of the box as fast as the new thing.  Learning gadgetry will not prepare our students for the future.  We must teach them to be creative, discerning, original, independent, and powerful thinkers.  The emphasis on classroom use of PDAs, computers, cell phones, and educational gaming is teaching our children a lesson–learned helplessness.  We cannot allow children to turn their brains into butterscotch pudding as they sit hunched over their latest, greatest, new thing." 

I wonder if Einstein would still use a slide rule?

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3 responses to “We have work to do!

  1. Hi Dave,
    I had to laugh when I read your quote from the letter sent to NEA Today. Do you think this person recognizes the irony that they expressed this opinion using a technology (email) that has only been in common use for about 10 years?

    I’m old enough to remember when a typing mistake on your book report meant using White-Out, and cutting and pasting involved scissors and, umm, paste. Hours spent rewriting a paper for minor changes can now be done in seconds. I’d like to think the time saved in such mundane pursuits has the potential to be used wisely by teachers to produce the creative, independant thinkers the reader hopes to see.

    Chris–

  2. Chris

    You are absolutely correct. The letter submitted to the editor of NEA Today reeks of irony. I am sure that the author of the letter keeps grades in an electronic grade book, possibly posts homework on the net or a voice system, and I would be staggered to find out the school which houses the author is not “chalked” full of dry erase boards, copy machines, and heaven forbid…..computers…..did I say that out loud?

  3. The problem with the letter-writer is that he or she has utterly missed the point. They’ve considered the technology as a “lump of stuff”, but haven’t considered what is going on insider the players head when the game is played.

    Either they deliberately haven’t considered it (in which case they aren’t fit to comment), or they are mentally unable to consider it (in which case they aren’t fit to teach).

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