Media…what is it good for?
While listening to On Being podcast with Anil Dash and Krista Tippett, Anil Dash made a statement that really stuck with me: “Computers are a tool to create not to consume” (Dash, 2017). When we thinking about technology in education, we should really take this point to heart. If our students are only using technology to consume, then we are really doing them a disservice. I’m not saying that gathering information online is bad; the internet is an amazing source for research when it is done correctly, but what are we doing with the information that we research? Because of this sentiment, I fall more in line with Kozma’s side of the debate that media does control and shape the message. As times goes on, how people give and receive information will continue to change. Educators must understand this concept and teach our students accordingly. We are a technology and social media driven society, and we are not preparing our students correctly if our lessons do not use technology not only as a vehicle to deliver instruction but as a central aspect of student learning and creation.
There are currently very few teachers at my school, including myself, who are using technology and social media not just as an instrument for distribution and regurgitation. I know this sounds really derogatory, but I truly don’t mean it that way. I think we just need to learn and see modeled how to make technology exceed where we currently are with the curriculum. We have to go beyond how we have always done things in the classroom, and “There must be more of a concerted focus on learning outcomes, construction of new knowledge leading to authentic application, and the development/ enhancement of essential skills (creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, digital citizenship, entrepreneurship, media literacy, technological proficiency, communication, collaboration)” (Sheninger, 2017). I think that librarians can be, will be, and are leaders in the digital movement because of our knowledge of the curriculum, technology, and social media as well as our willingness to be flexible in our collaborative efforts with teachers and students. As a librarian, I see it as my job to teach, encourage, support, plan, and implement technology with students as well as teachers. Reading and research, two of the most important aspects of a library, give librarians a perfect outlet to integrate technology into what we do every single day.
I am currently observing and working with a teacher at my school as she implements a comprehensive online review unit for the Biology EOC. I have been lucky enough to watch this implementation and to support this teacher as she delves further into the world of technology. She came to me with the idea that she would like to use multiple web 2.0 tools to allow students the ability to learn, comprehend, and analyze information in new ways. She didn’t just take her paper reviews and add them to Google Classroom; instead, she took all the information that students need to understand for the Biology EOC and created multiple venues for students to learn this information. I have seen her students watch videos from YouTube and Khan Academy, review material in several different ways on Quizlet, take tests with immediate feedback on Socrative, and create Google sites after they have analyzed and evaluated the information from the videos, reviews, and tests. When Sheninger says, “it is imperative not to allow the device to drive instruction. . . Lessons, curriculum,. . . Everything we do in education should be built around learning” (Sheninger, 2017). In my opinion, what this is doing is what we talk about when we discuss technology integration! This teacher has spent countless hours creating lessons, so that students have multiple venues for learning and creating which we know is the ultimate goal for students; they know the information well enough to teach it to others.
“Why Pedagogy First, Tech Second Stance is Key to the Future” sufficiently states what I see as the hindrances in the adoption of technology in education: “Mobile learning represents a huge investment in time, money, and other resources. With so much at stake, the goal should be placing a powerful learning tool in the hands of our students — not a digital pacifier” (Sheninger, 2017). We know that technology is expensive and that education isn’t known for its extensive budgets. We know that teachers already lack the time they need to prepare lessons, grade, speak with parents, etc. And, we know that technology is many times used for behavior management in the classroom. How do we change these problems? Research, education, training, and most importantly, a willingness on the part of teachers and administrators.
Dash, A. (2017). On Being and Tech’s Moral Reckoning. Anildash.com. Retrieved 14 April 2017, from http://anildash.com/2017/01/on-being-and-techs-moral-reckoning.html
The media debate – EduTech Wiki. (2017). Edutechwiki.unige.ch. Retrieved 14 April 2017, from http://edutechwiki.unige.ch/en/The_media_debate
Sheninger, E. (2017). Why Pedagogy First, Tech Second Stance is Key to the Future. EdTech. Retrieved 14 April 2017, from http://www.edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2016/04/why-pedagogy-first-tech-second-stance-key-future