More and more, I am seeing technology taking over classrooms and life in general. People don't write letters. Kids turn in papers written in Word, or e-mail them. It doesn't seem like kids will be learning to write in the near future. Books are electronic, and a lot of learning enforcement is done electronically.
So here's my question. Will technology take over soon? Will kids no longer be able to write, or use books? Is this a good thing or not? What do you think?
I think that technology will take over life eventually, and it's not anything we can really stop. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but it is kind of sad. Hand written letters are already considered "old fashioned." I think that all children even a hundred years in the future will still know how to write and still know how to read a paperback book, but it will be similar to "the cursive talk" for us. We were all told that we would need to use cursive for the rest of our lives, and besides the occasional signature on a check or some other formal document, it is rare to see cursive in use. So I think kids will still know how to write, but it will definitely not be a common thing.
I can see the trend happening as well. Technology is slowly pushing out handwriting and book usage. I was a Teacher's Aid in a Kindergarten class my senior year of high school. They were taught how to recognize letters, the phonics of the letters, and also how to write the letters. Will children learn how to write letters in Kindergarten or Pre-K? Will they learn how to write them without pencils using iPads? Will pencils become obsolete? Will children just be able to recognize letters and not able to write them? I think that it is inevitable how technology is taking over, but hopefully teachers will be able to successfully integrate it into the classroom.
As I recall from other discussions, we need to be aware of and equip our children with a set of sub-skills that will help them to go forward in the next steps of life - reading and writing being one of them - thinking is assuredly another one - if not equally important skill. Technology should never replace a good teacher. Perhaps the methods of delivery change, but the need to learn should not. In as much as we choose to learn, we admit (in the learning) that we do not know everything, and that we are yet still finite in our understanding of all things. Perhaps the teachers of old would be aghast at the elimination of papyrus and quills from our own present classrooms? What's the world coming to?
I think we as teachers or future educators do not need to let the pen and paper become "old fashion" for our students. It is a very good thing to write like it is a very good thing to have a teacher in the classroom. Yes it is the new, faster thing to just word processor everything but handwriting is still very useful and practical. I know in my future classroom my students will always have to write and it will not be rarely used because handwriting is a good thing to know and have for life.
We teach using math theories that have existed for centuries, literature from writers across the ages, I see no problem with teaching technology in the same fashion. At one time the sharpened pencil was cutting edge innovation. The advent of the pen also changed the entire concept of writing. I think its good to still teach some basics of writing.
I am a computer teacher so the majority of my classwork is digital, however I do spend some time having students handwrite things first, or edit a document by hand. I think its valuable to be versatile and have still across many disciplines. Typing and handwriting, to me, are both valuable skills.
Books? I rarely read books that aren't digital anymore. However I love the feel of an actual newspaper. In education I think the cost benefit of digital might replace paper books, although I do think the tactile nature of books is crucial in lower grades.
What happens when your battery dies? I have my iPhone and iPad with me at all times, synced and identical, but I also always have a pen with me...
I wrote about this topic a while back: http://thecasalos.blogspot.com/2010/11/pen-is-mightier-than-digital...
I think that in the future, technology will play a much greater part in the classroom than it does now, and who knows with the speed technology as well as the world is advancing there may come a day when it does replace these things completely. However I don't think that that's a good idea. Technology has many advantages, and reasons why its good for us to use it, but I still plan to teach my students the basics of writing, and have paper books in my classroom, as I think that these are really important as well. If we switch everything to technology and only teach this to our students, what happens if someday technology fails us, then our students will be left unprepared to deal with the world without these gadgets, which is not something we should do to them. I also personally think it means so much more to be able to read a book every so often, or receive a letter in the mail, both of which lose much of their meaning electronically.
We use a lot of technology in our classroom and I do not find that it is taking over, however; enriching the lessons being taught. Kids today are not the same as they were years ago and need different types of technques incorperated into their learning. I feel that in order to touch everyones learning ability we have to use different resources. I use the smartboard in my lessons many times instead of paper and pencil writing excercises. THis keeps the kids engaged in my lessons. I do not think students need to have paper/pencil tasks to learn. THis is an old theory of teaching and I know myself that I was not engaged while sitting at my seat for countless hours a day writing things on paper. I feel technology on the smart board gives the students the ability to move around and be interactive with the lesson. I find the Ipads and computer software that we use is also a good tool because it allows them to not only see, but hear the information differently than I would present it to them. Technology is not taking over, simply adding enrichment to education. The teacher should still be teaching skills like handwriting and also using some forms of paper/pencil activities to have the students practicing writing and holding a pencil etc. Iteach kindergarten and these things are incorperated into our daily lessons as well as technology. Our students still do handwriting with pencils and we write our sentences as well, but we add to the lesson by allowing them to write on the smart board or the Ipad. Technology is ever growing and rapidly changing so I feel that like everything else it is improtant we teach the children who are growing up with it as much as we can about the different types and how to use them.
Technology is advancing and providing more resources to learn. Although it is advancing, I do not see it taking over the classroom too quickly. The classroom is filled with a variety of teachers. Some teachers quickly adapt to technology and have the skills to incorporate it into their classroom. Other instructors have been teaching for years, close to retirement, and cling to the old methods. Another fact is some schools lack the funding to equip their classrooms with the available technology. The educational environment I work in has Smartboards, Course Mangement Software, and monthly training for free. It is a goal to get 100% of the instructors to utilize the course management software, but a large percentage does not participate. I had conversations with instructors during events and heard several reasons why they were resisting technology. Some felt that online courses are taking away the learning experience. Quality students are not being produce without the face-to-face interaction. Others complained they didn’t have the time to learn to utilize the tools. And, they worried about system failure and wanted to make sure every score was recorded on paper.
Recently, I watch a webcast on Google docs. Google docs is an online word processor that enables students to edit, store, share or collaborate in real time. In the webcast, instructors illustrated how they were using this technology in the classroom. One instructor assigned a group of students to write a poem. Each student would contribute in the development by typing in different font colors. Tracking tools are available to identify each student. The collaborative effort inspires students to engage, however, I wonder if this technology enables a student to be dependent. My questions with collaborative tools, will it enable the student to become creative and independent or not?
I always wonder the same thing about funding for technology in education. I do not believe that their is a possibility of it taking over because, despite the growth in technology, there will not be a growth in school funding. I have noticed in my school that every time we are able to fight to get a new piece of technology in our classroom there is something new and better that comes along. If an educator is fortunate enough to get funding, they still have to go through the long process of approval and in this ever-changing world of technology it is just unrealistic to believe that we could always be up-to-date.
In addition, we have had a serious issue this year with malfunctioning technology. I worked very hard to create a technology-based class for my 11th grade English students, then my computers did not work for the first few months of school. What would I do if I did not have the back-up of the standard pen and paper and paperback book? My students would not be able to learn. When I finally did take the time to get my computers up and running, my students were so frustrated with the technology that they begged to return to the standard classroom format.
I am not saying that I don't believe it is possible for technology to take over, but I do believe that it could be a painful few years of transition for both the teachers and students.
Technology is definitely moving into the classroom and I think there are both advantages and disadvantages to this. I teach 7th grade and one thing I notice on a daily basis is a decline in handwriting skills. Some of my students have barely legible handwriting and often times have to go back and rewrite something simply because I cannot read it and sometimes neither can they. I believe a lot of this is due to students being able to rely on a computer to type for them. There is also a big push in our school district for computer based books. Our curriculum uses Connected Mathematics 2 and Prentice Hall is currently working on their third version. We have been told that most likely we will not be buying these books in our district, rather we will be working towards getting iPads for students and they will access the book as an app. Although I am not sure how soon this will actually be happening, it sounds like a very interesting idea. I still wonder if I will miss having a physical book to work with but I am open to the change. I will also be interested to see the problems that may arise with relying so heavily on technology.
I believe money is the reason technology won't take over completely. How could a district afford an iPad for every student at every school from K-12? Who buys the replacement when a student loses it, has it stolen, or breaks it?
With that being said, I feel technology is a vast improvement to education and should take over the classroom. The skill of writing with pencil and paper should definitely be taught in elementary school. Knowing how to use your fine motor skills is an extremely important skill in life. Technology doesn't always use a keyboard; there are programs that allow the user to write by hand. In fact, I would not be able to use my interactive smart board with my students if they didn't know how to write. Not to mention Math problems would be even more tedious to students if they had to use the number pad to complete a problem; rather than write it out using a stylus on a tablet.
If books become obsolete is that really a bad thing? The whole point of a book is to use it as a resource for education. Students can use the electronic version of a book and get the same education they would with a paper version. The only difference I see is the way they will flip a page. Is the page flip really what teachers need to teach students; the difference between physically lifting a page versus swiping the screen?
Finally, think of the environmental improvements! Students can still get a great education through technology and thousands of trees can be saved each year by reducing the production of paper, pencils, and books.
In conclusion, I feel technology will never replace the use of writing by hand, but it will most definitely reduce the use of paper and pencils in the classroom. As the years pass and prices for computers decrease, technology will become more and more prevalent in the classroom. We as teachers need to mould to the new era of technology so we can better prepare our students for their futures.