Sunday, December 14, 2014

Technology: a language, a literacy, a concept?

I have been reading through the pre-publication The Role of Technology in the IB Programmes and before I give feedback I want to consider these 3 ideas about technology.  Please feel free to give me ideas as I consider the following:

  • Is technology a language?  It can be a language in computer programming, and it also facilitates communication and provides the means to express one's thoughts and feelings, just as language does.
  • Is technology a literacy?  It is a combination of acquired knowledge, applied knowledge and reflection on both.  And can technology literacy be achievable through ways of thinking, irrespective of the tools?
  • Is technology a concept, as opposed to a thing?  
Of course in the world of education, people are always asking about the benefits of using technology in the classroom, whether technology can enhance understanding and improve learning.  I was therefore interested to read this section in the pre-publication "Research indicates that exposure to multiple kinds of media such as texts in various online formats, video and interactive content is essential to formal and informal education, and all categories of technology, in particular a balance of them, are beneficial to learning as students make determinations about when, where and how to use technology."

Last week I had a skype call about the use of technology in professional learning.  We got onto the subject of technology in our IB schools and how much guidance or direction we should be giving about how technology is used.  I was really interested to read the section in the pre-publication about the movement towards a seamless experience of technology for both students and educators.  This implies that technology is simply part of the repertoire of tools to choose from.  And here's the part that I think is really important:  "Seamlessness is only achievable with mindsets that value and accept technology use in the classroom, involve agency on the part of students and educators, provide opportunities for collecting, creating and analyzing information as part of the learning experience, and that incorporate design thinking and concepts as paths to learning."  Agreed!

Photo Credit: Street matt via Compfight cc

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