Monday, July 11, 2011

Is technology the pencil ?

Years ago I attended a technology in education conference, one of the presenters made the reflection about all the changes that our society have made in Science, he specifically brought to our reflection to imagine a hospital 100 years ago and now. His point was to say that all the technological and scientific improvements have not made a huge impact in education; that our classrooms pretty much look the same as they were 100 years ago.

I agree that some areas of education have not changed, but it is my impression that those are more linked with the system as a whole. Age grades, assessments, teacher roles... still remain in some ways static, but it is due more to a political and sociological pressures, rather than a lack of research, innovation or technology.

The use of technology in education is a real opportunity, no doubt. The amount of resources available and the exposure to technology that our students are immerse in, and will continue is real.  The amount of information and resources are endless. Overall we can say that technology is for the future of our students what the pencil or the book were in the past.

As educators this is not enough. The tools are nothing without the mentor, the exposure to those resources is in my opinion irrelevant at the point that  some times we don't realize that our technological approach is useless for our students (which most of the time are one mile ahead of us).  Pencil, book or technology is not our duty... high level of thinking, challenge and collaboration...  are, have been and will remain the some core duties of our mission.

Technology is the pencil of the future, but only good education help the student to gain from it. A good teacher is with or without technology, and the impact that has on the student is endless.  I'm not against technology, on the contrary, I support and try to encourage new available resources to enhance what is our core duty.


  1. Excellent post! I couldn't agree more that technology is simply a tool. In education, we aren't using the latest tools (still trying to pound nails with rocks as it were, but hopefully we get there without the tool becoming the mission.

  2. I totally agree with your statement about the need for focus on the purpose of technology. It truly is useless without a compelling reason for use.

  3. Yes, yes, yes!!! Technology is the next "pencil" for our students. Now we just need to get the teachers to embrace the new "pencil" and learn how to best incorporate it into their classes.

  4. "The tools are nothing without the mentor..." This is my favorite part of your post. We can never forget that the technology tools are just that, tools.