A Missionary Of Technology

          Digital Pedagogy Lab is a peer-edited journal focusing on the discussion of education methods and their implementation in academic institutions. They discuss what some may consider to be unorthodox methods of teaching as compared to the traditional sense and have the ultimate goal of “… advocating for the elevation of the student and the contingent teacher, the proliferation of voices across education, and the ongoing investigation and creative implementation of digital and critical pedagogies.”

          The audience of this journal is very clear- that is individuals currently involved in, pursuing, or considering to be a part of the force of educators in the modern world. This audience is inevitably the new generation of teachers and open minded teachers of older age, all sharing the common openness to changing the system and state of modern education. The audience has seen the decades of predictable results from the rigid system currently in place and is willing to try new methods in the classroom as an experiment to possibly generate better results among student engagement and motivation.

          In the articles prompted in this classes blogs, two topics are presented to the reader- the current problems and limitations imposed on students due to geographical or socioeconomic status, and methods of making a class setting more engaging. What seemed to be very interesting to me is the contrast of these two articles, as “It’s About Class: Interrogating the Digital Divide” focuses on the needs of technology in a classroom and the effects of its unavailability, while “Why Start With Pedagogy?” focuses on methods of schooling which require no technology. To my surprise, it was stated in the latter article, “You don’t need any technology to transform your classroom from a credential-centered or professor-centered environment (information and ideas emanating from you to your students) to a student-centered, interactive, engaged, research-based, goal driven, egalitarian classroom.”

          The author of “It’s About Class” didn’t seem to do a very good job at convincing the audience to why technology is needed in a classroom. For starters, she begins to say that in school, students must be given time to “play” as students are simply instructed to do and use technology in “drill-and-kill” manners. This “playing” would be through the form of blogging or using social media platforms such as twitter. It is with this idea that I find her ideas on changing education to be rather farfetched. While technology is important and can be extremely helpful in aiding the learning process, students are in school to learn. Encouraging students to experiment with Twitter and other social media platforms is simply a large investment with no real tangible or substantial return in comparison to other methods of learning with technology. Furthermore, Bessette contradicts herself by stating that her desires of what she wishes for her students is not what the students want for themselves. Contradiction is seen as she states, “One of the reasons [her students] disdain the technology is because many of them don’t see how it will help them get a job in their low-tech worlds; better to know how to hunt, grow gardens… etc. I am constantly in awe of all they do know how to do, versus what I (unfortunately) think they should know how to do. To these students, living in an area that seems to have most employment through labor and trades, Twitter would serve very little if any real good.

Questions:

  1. What are your thoughts on the idea of allowing students to “play” with or “misuse” their technology and the possible effects on productivity/engagement of a classroom using this practice?
  2. Is technology truly a necessity in modern education? Why or why not?

Works Cited

Bessette, Lee S. “It’s About Class: Interrogating the Digital Divide.”

Digitalpedagogylab.com. Digital Pedagogy Lab, n.d. Web. 2 July 2012.

Davidson, Cathy N. “Why Start With Pedagogy? 4 Good Reasons, 4 Good Solutions.” Digitalpedagogylab.com Digital Pedagogy Lab, n.d. Web. 8 July 2015

5 thoughts on “A Missionary Of Technology”

  1. Hi Jack, you wrote a really good blog. I definitely agree that the author of “It’s About Class” didn’t do a great job at convincing as the article “Why Start With Pedagogy?” Although they both present strong points. In Bessette’s article, I find that she is trying to convince the audience to get technology so student’s have something interesting to do in class. I agree with you that Twitter may not be helpful but I think that blogging would be helpful. You stated in your blog that, “While technology is important and can be extremely helpful in aiding the learning process, students are in school to learn. Encouraging students to experiment with Twitter and other social media platforms is simply a large investment with no real tangible or substantial return in comparison to other methods of learning with technology.”We can take our class for example. We blog for homework and that is something very different than what we have in other classes because we have to present it as well. It definitely is something engaging. I believe that Bessette is trying to present technology to us as another method for teaching. I found Cathy Davidson’s article to be very convincing. She gave good ideas in how to make the classroom a student engaging environment. Her article kind of contradicted Bessette’s because she presented many ideas to us which did not include using any technology. At the most Davidson said to use Google Docs. Davidson presented ideas such as: all student’s raising their hands whether they knew it or not, using exit cards, think-pair-share, and question stacking. I was able to relate all these ideas to our class because we have done all these activities in class. Bessette and Davidson gave good ways on how teaching in a classroom can be better for students and teachers.

  2. Hey Jack, awesome blog! I really enjoyed reading your thoughts and analysis of the articles. In response to your second question, I do believe technology has BECOME a necessity in modern education. The majority of schools have websites where they post everything about the school, events going on in the school, along with putting the students grades there so the students can see how they are doing. Along with that, a lot of teachers have home works where you have to watch a video on a website or research something or type an essay within a short time span. Technology has been incorporated into the education system, this has made technology a necessity. Originally, it was not a necessity, it was simply a privilege. However, as technology continued to advance and be incorporated into education, technology has become a necessity. Without the use of technology, some students would not be able to do a decent portion of their home works, in our case with our English class, we would not be able to do any of our home works without the use of technology.

  3. Thanks for your blog, Jack. I was thinking about the second question you posed and I don’t really believe that technology is such a necessity in the classroom at all. While technology may improve the field in a myriad of ways, the fact of the matter is that education has survived the test of time long before technology became so huge. For one to educate properly, it is not necessary to have the most advanced, updated and latest gadgets and equipment that money can money. Granted, technological improvements have certainly added to the classroom environment but that isn’t to say that education cannot take place without it. Lee Bessete made a rather weak argument, in my opinion, of the need for technology in a modern classroom. My personal take on the article was that it was not very well written or convincing either. I gather that you didn’t seem to be such an advocate of this particular article either. Perhaps it was the way the article was written that influenced the way I think about the issue, but i don’t believe that technology is at all a necessity.
    In fact, it is possible that technology can backfire. If a teacher uses technology in a manner that he or she cannot teach without it, that should be an indicator of the teachers lack of innate ability to teach and his or her over-reliance of the tools that are at his or her disposal. Technology can be a boon, but it can also be a crutch. I’m not arguing that technology should not be included in the in a standard classroom, but a standard classroom should not have to include state of the art technology.

  4. Great job on the blog Jack! I agree technology has become a necessity, but it needs to be limited. The use of technology has increased exponentially and thus causing people to become addicted. Students can not live without their phones or laptops. When technology was limited students were actually able to think individually. Now thoughts are influenced with others perspectives and the idea that what the majority believes is right. Students have become so engaged into the internet that many are unable to differentiate between fantasy and reality. A students ability to engage in conversations has decreased because of the Internet. They have become less social physically. How many people can go have dinner with friends or family without constant interaction with their phone? This has the same effect in classrooms. Professors just put up power points and videos while students are texting, snapchatting, etc. Teachers should incorporate both aspects when they teach. Using methods such as think-pair-share, question stacking, and exit tickets engage students in class because everyone gets involved.

  5. Hi Jack. Your blog is nice! You pointed out “The author of “It’s About Class” didn’t seem to do a very good job at convincing the audience to why technology is needed in a classroom. “,and l agree with it. She didn’t show readers why it’s important to use technology in teaching. She just wrote poor web presence at where she lives and works. She also wrote two computer labs were used as business classrooms, and computers were moved out. But I still can’t understand her point,”Both students and teachers need the support and encouragement to play, to have the time and fearlessness to use and “misuse”tech.”
    In another article,”WHY START WITH PEDAGOGY? 4 GOOD REASONS, 4 GOOD SOLUTIONS”, Cathy N. Davidson expresses detailed reasons and methods to support her point. You can find similar methods of teaching in this article are used in our class. We do have more interaction because of these methods, which include using technology.
    I think technology is necessary in modern education, because students now are growing in a world full of technology. Even college students need to use technology to finish our assignments, or
    search information. Teachers can also use technology making teaching more lively or increasing interaction between them and students.

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