It's Not About the Technology
Since our world is flooded with technology, of course it's the first thing to come to mind regarding learning and teaching. However, Mrs. Hines states that although the technological tools today are very innovative, they are not necessarily what we need to initiate change in the classroom.
I think she makes a good point: teachers must be lifelong learners. It's the "practice what you preach" principle. If we expect our students to keep learning, why shouldn't we? I plan on teaching health education and there always seems to be new developments in that field. So I agree that if teachers are truly invested in their profession, they must stay current not only on "tools," but on trends and research as well.
Is It Okay To Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?
Mr. Fisch also makes a valid point that teachers should be technologically literate. The generation we are teaching today lives in a world that revolves around technology (gaming and social networking are a couple of biggies). They probably can't remember a time when technology didn't influence their lives in some way. So if we want to reach them in our classrooms, maybe we should adapt to them. And that is done by incorporating technology in the classroom.
Mr. Fisch compared technological literacy and the level of success over time. There is no doubt in my mind that it is getting harder to be successful without technological literacy. Since our future is becoming based more and more on technology, it's our job to prepare our students for that.
This made me think of my first semester at USA. I had been out of school for three years before I arrived here. My math class was the first class I ever had that used an online tool (USA Online). I was thinking what on earth could be done online with math? Although it was something as simple as weekly homework assignments, I didn't care for that system because I was so used to submitting my work on paper in person. But over time, I began to appreciate the efficiency of submitting these assignments online. I got my grade instantly, I'm sure it was much more organized for the professor, and we weren't wasting trees! This was my first glimpse at the practical importance of technology use in the classroom. And it held true for every other class I had that utilized online tools. It makes me more willing to adapt to different tools and methods of teaching in the future.
Social Media Counts
Wow! I could barely keep up with all of these figures because they were changing so rapidly. This goes to show how popular technology is and how often it's being used. In our society, there is no doubt these numbers will continue to rise. Educators need to be on the same level as kids today if they expect to reach them. Figures like this should encourage educators to take the time to learn how to use some of these tools.
Technologies are being discovered and improved upon every day, and we should do the same. We should have the desire to improve not only for ourselves, but for our students. They are relying on us to prepare them for the real world and we shouldn't shortchange them. So if this means we have to invest our time to learn how to use technological tools, then so be it.
A Vision of Students Today
Fortunately I haven't had the experience of being in a class so large it requires auditorium type seating. I can only imagine how impersonal that must feel. In the past, my professors have at least attempted to learn our names and most of them practically beg us to come to them if we ever have any questions. I could tell how much they care about our success in the class by stressing their availability outside of it.
I think students in such large classes should have a little sympathy for the professor as well though. I'm sure they're not the only large class the professor has each day. It must be stressful for the professor to keep track of everyone's progress. The student has to take a little responsibility in their education, too. They need to reach out to the professor if they had any concerns or felt like they weren't getting the most out of the class.
Also, I have noticed some students taking advantage of bringing laptops to class, or having smart phones. They're usually browsing the web, social networking sites, or texting instead of taking notes and following the professor. It seems like a waste to have come to class. But then there are those students that don't come at all and I consider that even more of a waste. I'm not paying all of this money, going into debt, just to skip class. I want my money's worth.