Effective use of technology is the key

I think it is important to make the point that technology, in itself, is not the answer. Technology is just a tool, but what a tool!

To turn our back on the advances in technology is to become 21st Century Luddites.

I read some comments in  Google Plus Community that was saying that technology is overhyped and that we should be making sure that students can use pen and paper effectively before we let them loose to explore the world of the net.

I understand that the tools are being used ineffectively at the moment but that does not mean we should turn our back on them. We need to be making sure that the new literacy of the web is taught well. To say that most students are lazy and just do a simple Google search which then leads to wholesale use of great chunks of text that is used in lieu of original work or thought is correct. The problem lies with the fact that we do not encourage originality, we do not teach critical thinking and we probably use and misuse Google searches ourselves!

The great advances in digital technology have outpaced our ability to understand how to effectively use them. There are too many teachers who lack confidence and indeed knowledge of what is possible with the new tools. This is an urgent area for teacher training to concentrate on.

Just like the earlier development of the industrial revolution we shall get to know these strange new tools. The next generation of teachers will have lived with them almost from birth. Knowing though is not mastering or using effectively. This will take some time but is absolutely essential. A return to simple pen and paper is certainly not the answer.

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