Does Education REALLY Need Technology?

 (this entry is carried-over and expounded upon from a discussion that took place Feb 28-Mar 1, 2011 on my personal facebook wall) 

Recently I read a colleague’s blog and a comment was made that throwing out the existing pedagogy is akin to Boeing starting from scratch on the building of aircraft without using any of the knowledge of the past 100+ years. The commenter was saying it makes no sense to drop everything we know for the sake of embracing new technologies.
I agree, the pedagogy is on life support but not because the pedagogy itself is broken or tired, at least not completely.
 
Two things I see:
  1. The old pedagogy must be reexamined and adapted for the current mindest which is critical thinking and process-driven. Are we not taught to learn from the past and improve upon it over time?
  2. Technology will never be the teacher but when a teacher learns to employ technology in the classroom they become a better teacher. A teacher who refuses to adapt and embrace will ultimately teach nothing. I really believe that. Why would any student, young or old, tune in to a boring lecture, drill and practice, and care at all about performing well on a written exam when they can go to any public computer with internet access and google the subject.
    Think about this. I have a cousin who had a broken mower last summer. No cash for repairs, no transportation or funds to take a small engine repair class. What did she do? She googled “mower repair” and found a slew of youtube videos on how to repair a small mower engine. Then, armed with what she had learned, she fixed that mower and cut her grass.
    Is it possible that part of the talents, gifts, and aptitudes given us by our creator include the ability to create this technology and use it to make learning REAL, INTERACTIVE and (gasp) FUN?

So my answer to the question – Yes! Education NEEDS technology. It needs it as much as it has ever needed anything. Is it as easy is that? Just saying yes, it’s needed…is that enough? I’d like to know your thoughts on this subject…respond by commenting to this post.

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  Lisa M. Menke is the Associate Dean for Online Instruction at York College of Nebraska. Lisa is an avid fan innovation in learning design and transmedia storytelling. Lisa holds a graduate degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a graduate certificate in  online course development. Lisa and her family live in York, Nebraska.

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