In this week’s readings for Curriculum Planning, Implementation, and Assessment, there were many themes that overlapped. Specifically, the theme of technology being integrated into teaching and assessment was one that has always interested me.
Mishra and Koehler spoke of the importance for teachers to see new technologies and learning tools, rather than threats to the education system. In fact, they encouraged teachers to use technology, saying:
“Teachers need to develop a willingness to play with technologies and an openness to building new experiences for students so that fun, cool tools can be educational (p. 18).”
I believe that this is so important in the classroom today. So many students resort to using technology (i.e. texting, Facebook, Twitter) during class time for one reason: they are bored. This is where the teacher could either go to war with the students over using this technology at an inappropriate time, or change their approach to parallel the desires of the students. A young adult, I would align myself with the second approach, creating innovative ways of teaching which utilize technology. However, I can definitely see how experienced teachers could fear the use of technology, especially if they themselves are not comfortable with it.
By adopting an acceptance of technology into the classroom, the role of the teacher does in fact take a shift. As Cooper says in Chapter 2:
“The sheer volume of information available today, as well as the rate at which information is increasing and being replaced by current and better information, cannot all possibly be captured and transmitted by teachers and textbooks (p. 13).”
We as educators want nothing more than for our students to learn as much as they can during their time with us. By integrating technology into our classrooms, we are not only introducing them to the subject matter at hand, but we are also teaching them technology competency, opening them to a world of additional learning before their eyes.
My father is someone who believes that one day, all teachers will be replaced by computers. Since I’ve had my fair share of debates with him about this topic, I will admit that I was relieved to see that the 8th Big Idea of assessment affirmed my position. When Cooper mentioned that “one of the essential characteristics of the teaching-learning process is the human interaction that occurs between students and a caring, sensitive, skilled teacher,” I immediately sent a screenshot to my father (p. 7). His response surprised me:
“Some teachers could be [replaced by computers], but you will never be that kind of teacher because you have the passion to teach and will be a success.”
It looks like it is possible to have teachers and technologies working together to create the best possible learning environment for students. I look forward to and welcome the introduction of many technologies into my future classroom.