Striking a balance. Yes. And actually talking (and listening, arguing, compromising, sharing, valuing, respecting, helping and so on), to other people. I agree with you, Colin.
Hi Melissa, I tried doing one of my observation classes with a prezi presentation and loads of youtube videos and I forgot to actually talk with the students. I made the mistake of thinking if I used technology this would keep the students interested in what I was teaching. After 15 mins they lost interest. I forgot to actually engage them in the learning and ask them questions. Allow them to drive the lesson, at the end of the day it was there lesson not mine. I think technology has to assist the teaching not replace it and I have returned to the old fashioned board and pen and finding it works well. I do think though that setting up a classroom blog and resource page could have benefits.
I really enjoy integrating technology into the classroom, although I view it as a tool rather than a end-all or something that should complete replace pens, paper, whiteboards, etc.
In the past, however, I've worked for an educational foundation that funded workshops for high school students in rural areas. Part of the reason the foundation did this was because the school would not/could not teach students the process of applying to college, teach them the technological tools they would need to be successful in college, etc. We found that some of this had to do with lack of resources (in one county, the largest computer lab throughout the county had only 12 computers and they were all ancient).
We also found some of it had to do with "local politics" and the background/level of education of a lot of the leaders in the communities. Some never went to college, some were farmers, some did not feel there should be a library, didn't think students should ever go to college, etc. - because they never had or did those things.
I think there were times when the teachers who wanted to integrate technology or work towards changing the culture finally gave up because of the resistance. And I think there were times when there were teachers and school leaders who were part of the problem.
I think it will be interesting to see how education will look when the first generation who truly grew up only knowing life with the internet, iPads, smart phones, etc. takes over leadership roles.