Technology – resource or methodology?
Technology has become a major part of our education system in a very short amount of time. Looking back to 2005, according to an inspector report on ICT in schools only 4% of teachers said they used ICT on a daily basis in their classroom. A few short years later almost 92% use technology in some way according to some recent research.
Since this huge surge began, technology has generally been described as a tool or a resource in the classroom. Essentially, it’s much the same as a book or game or piece of equipment to use when required. For example, if teaching about shapes, children could use a digital camera to take photographs of different shapes in the vicinity. The camera was the resource.
While this might be true, I was thinking that technology also introduces new teaching methodologies that are almost impossible without ICT. Furthermore, for established teaching methodologies, I believe technology can enhance some of them.
One example of a methodology is sharing information to an audience. In the past the audience may have been the teacher and his/her classmates. Technology has made it possible for a student to share information with a worldwide audience through the use of blogs, social networks, podcasting and video conferences. This leads on to asking the question as to whether teaching children to use social media and the Internet as a methodology. I would argue it is as important today as the 3 Rs.
The other aspect of calling technology a methodology rather than a resource is that it focuses on how the child is using technology rather than focusing on the technology itself. Here are some proposed methodologies that technology can perform:
Speaking to an audience in another area
- Writing to a worldwide audience
- Responding to a piece of writing from another area
- Making a video to share with a worldwide audience
- Real time collaboration with other areas
The one thing that these examples have in common is that they “break down the walls of the classroom.” No longer do teaching methodologies have to take place with just the people in the room, now there are possibilities to extend conversations and collaborations with schools, businesses, etc. from anywhere around the world.
Do you think technology should be considered a methodology or a resource or do you think it is a combination of the two?