Technology: Stumbling block or Stepping stone?

Social media, online games, internet, cellphone, and gadgets are some factors that parents, even teachers, blame for children’s poor performance in school. They say most of their kids’ time are spent playing online games in front of the computer rather than burning the midnight oil to get high grades. The previous generation would argue about how competent and intellectual they were during their time, back when there was no “distraction” to their studies. In others words, technology is viewed as a stumbling block causing children to be irrational and incompetent. But, is it really?

A few days ago, I attended a training about how to use the IWB or Interactive White Board. It was a huge touchscreen white board that serves as the modern blackboard. With the help of LCD projector, computer, and Active Inspire program, the speaker showed us how to present lessons in a more fun, exciting, and effective way. From Science to Mathematics to Geography to English to Art, we were thrilled with how enjoyable each lesson can be! It was a workshop that gave us hands-on experience with the device. In the e-classrom, there were six stations for the pupils and each station was connected to the server which is for the teacher. My favorite part was when the speaker, acting as the teacher, gave us an exam using computers. He distributed the exam to each station without going anywhere but staying in his seat, then after a few minutes collected it. He can monitor what each station was doing by just looking at his own computer. There were many things that the speaker taught us about the new teaching device and we were excited to learn and explore more. If we, teachers, had fun learning new things using this technology, for sure children who were born in the computer age would be delighted in experiencing this kind of schooling. And with this environment, learning will be more of a pleasure rather than a burden for them.

Here are some photos from our e-training. Credits to my colleagues for the shots.

This is the speaker presenting how to teach Geography

The speaker created a Grade One paper and called on someone to write. Look! That is our principal teaching us how to write legibly!

Now, the Science lesson about characteristics of animals. It was so fun answering just by dragging the correct word to the picture!

Hey! A girl playing volleyball. The ball was connected to the girl’s hand and it can be moved by dragging. It’s like it was animated!

These are the stations. One station per grade level.

All of us got to experience this fun learning!

And here goes the certificates! Yay!! With our beloved principal and resourceful speaker.

We are now in the 21st Century. There was a wide transition and change in most aspects of life. In the seminar that I attended, it occurred to me that despite having controversial issues about technology, it can be a very useful tool in educating our kids. We are in a fast-changing world, the computer age as they call it, but instead of viewing technology as a stumbling block, why not view it as a stepping stone to success?

John Dewey once said, “If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow”. As teachers, it is our great responsibility to light the fire in our children, to help them become capable of creating new things, to innovate and not just repeat what the previous generations have done. Technology has been widely accepted all over the world despite the stress and antisociality that it causes through misuse but we can always be on the positive side and integrate it seamlessly into the lesson. Yes, we should change the traditional learning paradigm and adapt easily to fast-changing world in order to be effective, relevant, and productive teachers.

As Rabindranath Tagore wrote “Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time”. As teachers, we should stop resisting change or we will be left behind and become obsolete. And with that, let me share this video about teaching and technology. Indeed, if we want our children to learn from us, we may need to learn from them.

 

“The illiterate of the 21st Century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

–Alvin Toffler

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Sincerely Mheg

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2 thoughts on “Technology: Stumbling block or Stepping stone?

    • I know. Thank you. We should stop resisting change so we won’t be left behind. Bottom line is teachers and parents should use technology as stepping stone to success. 🙂

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