Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tech Savvy Classrooms and the Luddite Fallacy

Sometimes the main reason I find it hard to blog is the exact reason I should blog. Experiencing so much new in my life has really allowed me to see a different side of things and has allowed me to really step back and think about memories and recollections of my life. So today I will discuss a few topics concerning the use of technology in the classroom and what it means to the futures of these kids and the rest of the world.

Today was the first day of the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) at De Marillac.  First off, apparently kids are introduced to bubble testing as early as 3rd grade. Unbelievable! I never thought that national statistical data would need to be collected at such an early age... but I guess it does. Second, statistical data! I used to think that the big picture idea of bubble testing was dumb because you could never truly gauge a childs growth by the test. Today though I had a realization-- The test isnt about the child, but rather the whole. In terms of De Marillac, they use these numbers to show donors of the progress of the classes and the program that DMA provides. It is also used to keep DMA accredited with the archdiocese, Californian, and US. Then in tern, DMA gets money donated depending on scores. Granted there is a lot of flaws with this and many controversial topics surrounding the whole bubble testing idea. Nonetheless, ITBS week is apparently a big deal in schools and wasn't just made up to torture the kids for a week. :)

ITBS was one of the first and most basic ways technology crept into the classroom. Recently, I have been working with a technology by SMART (creator of smartboards) that allows for real time student interaction by the use of clickers. In college, I has a simplified version of this and thought it was cool but not really useful. Then I came across SMART Response at DMA and was asked to research it and present about it. I still thought the idea of creating assessments on the computer and then have the students answer by use of clicker was cool, but I still thought it was overkill of technology in the classroom. So I still did the research, did a presentation, had a teaching session, and then watched the clicker technology be used in the classroom and I found my views quickly changed.
First off, I found that the teacher was about to quickly keep the kids accountable for answering. They were able to "force" the kids to listen to the question before they answered and also about to see in real time (by pie or bar chart) how students answered the question. Cool.
Secondly, apparently newer teachers of today seem to like the idea of technology in the classroom. (Even though I think its cool, I don't know if I personally want to use it in the classroom). This was a surprise to me. Cool.

Its cool to see technology in the classroom. Its cool to think that I can be a catalyst for bring it there. Its cool that with the proper training, technology can give kids the skills they need for a wide range of jobs that are and will be needed. One of my coworkers expressed today that if some of the unemployed of today just had basic typing skills, general computer knowledge, and a motivation to learn more, their chances of getting a job greatly increases. Interesting... though, makes sense, and makes me think.

This thought brings me to great topic of technology. The Luddite Fallacy. This is the idea that while technological progress will cause some workers to lose their jobs as a result of outdated skills, any concern that advancing technology will lead to widespread, increasing unemployment is, in fact, a fallacy. Basically, even though technology is getting rid of jobs, it is in tern creating many many more jobs for the work force. Now, there are very realistic theories saying that the Luddite Fallacy will one day become incorrect, but currently for our society, it holds firm. This means that technology and the tech skill we teach our kids along side reading, math, social studies, and science is becoming increasingly important. Very important.

Point of today: The way technology is used in the classroom is no longer progressive, rather it is imperative to teaching to give students the technological skills to one day do the most basic jobs in a developed digital world.

1 comment:

  1. being the senile old timer that I am, I have but one comment for testing: you don't increase a hog's weight by setting it on a scale.