Every day I read about lots of new applications on twitter and in all the blogs there is a plethora of posts about these new toys. Suddenly, we have all, miraculously and, it seems overnight, turned into edtech experts.
All it takes, is access to the application’s page, knowledge of how to embed a youtube tutorial into a blog post, and you are in business.
There is great enthusiasm about many new and truly wonderful tools, but this sometimes washes over other tools which can be problematic or have issues that are not easy to spot at first glance.
I have seen some great discussions but they are the exception, not the rule. Very little is said about the methodological issues surrounding some of these new tools, their advantages and drawbacks, in fact, what most well-trained teachers instinctively start thinking about.
I know, I know, it’s up to me to think about these things, but my readership is not only made up of experienced and well trained teachers and teacher trainers. I write for novice teachers, too, hoping to engage them and encourage them to begin or continue their professional development in one of the many ways available to all of us…
Technology is the means, not the end
Technology is wonderful when it is not the end but the means to education, language acquisition, whatever it is that we want to use it for…. it should enhance our lessons, not take over because all the members of our PLN seem to be doing nothing else!
Let’s move with the times but let’s move in a principled way, not because it’s the fad or because we saw that kid on the video telling us off!!!
And, anyway, we know it wasn’t the kid writing the script, it was his dad! The dad is right, of course, in the essence of his message to educators, but the delivery of the message should not scare us into mindless adoption of everything… Nor should it cancel out or negate methods and techniques which work well and claim than the only good teacher is a tech-savvy teacher.
Managing change with some caution
This is a time of change – true, the change is rather too rapid for some people’s comfort, but it is a time of change, nevertheless, and innovations introduced into any school programme in a hasty and haphazard way have failed so many times in the past, it should be a lesson in caution for us all.
For this reason, I am about to start a new series of blog posts looking at different applications singly or in groups and discussing their uses, advantages or drawbacks and, ideally and if I have the time or the inspiration, add a lesson idea at the end of each post.
The first application which caught my eye today, and which I will be able to write about tomorrow or Monday, is one I read about today in Ana Maria Menezes’ great blog Life Feast . The application is called ReadTheWords and if you would like to commment on it already, please feel free to do so.
P.S. This is a pre-blog-post post, in the new fashion set by the major trendsetter and great blogger-storyteller-author-actor-friend and fellow-twitterer, Ken Wilson.
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