Monday, October 19, 2009

What is Technology?

Last week I heard David Warlick speak at our T3 conference. I also heard him at another conference after that. I was looking back over some of his stuff and I found this blog post:

"The ringing proclamation at ISTE 2010 will be “Integrate Technology.” There is a lot of value in this mantra, but it is the response of a generation of teachers who grew up without computers, mobile phones, and the Internet. It all looks like technology to us.

To our students, it is merely the road ways of their daily and minute-by-minute travels and the tentacles of their nearly constant hyper-connectivity. It is the hands and feet that take them where they want to go. Believing that our youngsters carry their mobile phones around with them because it is their technology of choice is a poor reason to desperately carve out ways of using mobile tech in our lessons. They carry their phones because that is where their friends are — and their is nothing new about youngsters wanting to be where their friends are."

I cut off about half of it, but I think he is right on the money with the second paragraph. It fits right in with a quote I read earlier this year that 'Technology is anything that was made after you were born'. To our students cell phones and laptops aren't technology. The internet isn't technology. It is just part of life. When we block them or prevent them from using it we are technically blocking their life. These tools are so integrated into their lives, yet no one has truly taught them how to use them responsibly or ethically. How do we ensure that we are teaching our students why the shouldn't be going to sites or posting pictures of themselves on the net? How do we get our students to understand that we want them to use these tools, we just want them to use them responsibly? We can't just block things without explanation anymore....

I just wanted to share. Over the course of last week I heard a lot of little things like this that dropped me deep into thought.... It was a lot of fun. :)