I think that technology is important in classrooms today, and that we need to continually better the technologies we use because it benefits learning greatly. Is it possible that we are pushing out "old fashioned" ways though that are helpful to the student too because of the heavy emphasis we are putting on technology? Will our future students be able to write, not just type? What about cursive... will it even exist? Just wondering what everyone else thought about this.
I can agree with you that technology is important in the classroom. It can benefit learners that are not "traditional". However, I can also agree with you that we might be pushing technology too far. I believe that the "old fashioned" ways of learning are important, too!
I definitely agree with what you're saying here! Though technology is important, and I'm sure will be a part of our educational world for the rest of our lives. I also think its important to make sure, that we as future teachers don't put too much of an emphasis on using it to where we disregard the tried and true "old fashioned" ways, as you mentioned. These are also very important for students to learn, as there will most likely always be reasons they will need to be able to write, and other such non technology items. As well as the fact, that if there for some reason there comes a day when they're in a place in which technology is unavailable, they will be better prepared for life in general if they have a thorough knowledge of both.
I definitely have wondered about this before. It's honestly scary to me-- I worry that my kids won't be able to write well or won't even appreciate writing. I also think there are technologies out there that can't replicate what the "old-fashioned" ways offer. Like e-books, for example. I just don't think having an electronic tablet in your hand is the same as holding a book and flipping through the pages.
Sometimes I think technology can hinder greatly the ability to be social in adults and children alike. If students are constantly checking answers on tablets or using some sort of device on their desk or looking up to the eye catching smartboards at the front of the class there is less time to learn with their peers, compare answers, etc. I don't think technology is a bad idea I just hope it wont diminish student to student relationships or even student to teach.
I think it is really important to continue teaching kids to write manually. All kinds of things are better hand written: journals, letters, and notes. And manual things are better for kinesthetic kids, in my opinion, any way. So, I hope we keep the old fashioned stuff, but I won't be surprised if it goes away soon.
I was a principal of a school for 10 years. At my school teachers (in the foundation phase K-Grade3) were constantly involved with writing skills particularly cursive writing. This was a strong feature (cursive writing in schools prior to 1994). However, teachers experienced difficulty with learners when they were taken to the computer centre because the keys on the keypad was in caps format and not cursive. A further problem was that language teachers in grades 4 upward also had difficulty with assessing students writing skills pf those students that used only capital letters in their writing, so grammatical skills could not be assessed (eg. Capital letter to begin a sentence). At a school where i did my research I found a principal that felt we are wasting time teaching cursive writing because of computers and textbooks are all in computer text format.
Just a thought!
Your post made me think about cursive, print, and computers a little differently than I had in the past. I am a strong believer that we still need to teach print and cursive because everyone learns differently. However, I understand what you are saying but I think it backs up the reasoning that we still need to teach both. Teachers should teach handwriting but also grammar and writing. Computers should be used but so should paper and pencil. Students should be able to use both, don't you think that is a solution??
At Pace University, we are actually using technology to reinforce writing techniques and basics through Connect Composition. This is an online platform from McGraw-Hill. Professors can create diagnostic tests for their students that test grammar, spelling, punctuation, tense usage, etc. For students that still don't understand the basics (even at a college level), they can use this from home, outside of class time, to hone in on their strengths and weaknesses without wasting other students' time.
However, I agree with you as well that some students are neglecting their writing at a cost of certain technologies. I currently work as a graduate assistant in Pace's Academic Technology department and one of the endeavors we're trying to incorporate in classes is "Digital Storytelling," where students use editing software to tell stories visually. This could be a research paper or another project for a class. During a Digital Storytelling meeting, a student commented (to this effect), "This is great because not everyone is good at writing, but a lot of students are good with technology." One of our staff members (also an English professor), mentioned that students will ALWAYS need to have strong writing skills, no matter what technology they're using. I could not agree more. My field of study is media/production. As a visual storyteller myself, strong writing is still an essential asset in my industry and always will be!
I think at some point we need to reconcile the old with the new. Technology should be enhancing education and our lives. However, I am seeing it frequently being misused as a crutch rather than an aide for students, teachers, and administrators.
Students are using computers to type essays. However, they fail to recognize common spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.
Teachers are reliant of PowerPoint and visuals to present a lesson, without the careful dialog and questioning that should accompany the technology.
Administrators are purchasing expensive online software that they believe will solve the literacy and math difficulties of struggling students. However, the students do not have textbooks, workbooks, and maps.
Some veteran teachers are still using the traditional chalk on the board. When I observe these classrooms, the students are still learning. Most do well in class and these experienced teachers have high students scores on the state assessments. Should we dismiss these traditional "old fashioned" techniques of the veterans as archaic? Is it time to say "out with the old and in with the new?" Perhaps, we might want to imagine an education system that embraces all methods of teaching and learning. A system that marries the traditional approaches with our new technology. After all, our goals are the same, to create learning experiences by engaging the students.
I agree that it is definitely possible we are pushing out "old fashioned" skills far too much. I have been deployed to several third world countries where technological knowledge was rendered virtually useless. I think it is a mistake to think such knowledge and skills have become obsolete.
I don't think that we are pushing "too much" technology. What we are not pushing is implementation of the technology. I think based on the influx of technology our education system, we can handle it is we prepared teachers to use it effectively.
I think technology is a great tool in the classroom. I think the benefits out-weigh the negative points of them. However, I do see both sides of the argument. I feel some technology is very unreliable. For example, when students do research on the computers, they really need to be monitored with where they are getting their facts from. Some websites do not give the straight facts which leads to wrong information in the students' work. I also feel students loose the social aspect of a classroom with virtual classrooms. I personally feel that students need the social interaction that schools provide. When the students participate in virtual classes, they do not get the social skills that is ultimately a life skill. I also do not like that our state assessment is on the computer. I feel it does not benefit the students. I find that they struggle, especially in the Reading section, because of the computer. They have a hard time keeping their place in the passage. It requires a lot of scrolling up and down for the students to read and find the answer. And my question is how is this effecting their vision? I don't know much about eyes, but I only imagine how much of a negative effect it is having on them. Everyone always used to say, don't watch T.V. for too long because it will effect your eyes. I'm sure computers have the same effect. And we are putting our students directly in the danger zone. Sitting two feet from the screen and requiring them to stare at it for hours. And when it comes to writing, nothing beats the "old fashioned" method. Students need to learn to write first, then they could take the next step into typing. They need to learn basic grammar through writing, not spell checker or grammar checker on the computer.
On the positive sides, I can see how much of a benefit technology is for students. In my school, we have a lot of students that come from low income families. They do not get to explore all of the great places available to them. Even though we live only 20 minutes from the beach, more than half of my students have never been there. I think technology opens the doors to my students. They get to experience things that they normally would not be able to see. We take virtual field trips all around the world, so my students get to see the rest of the world. I also feel like technology beats using worksheets. "Old fashioned" skill and drill is no longer effective. Students need to apply it to real world situations. Technology allows them to apply the skill in different scenarios.