Why Schools Should Be More Critical Of Technology

Why Schools Should Be More Critical Of Technology

Extension of 1 to 1 calculation , increased use of learning management systems , the ubiquity of smartphones and the advancement of artificial intelligence and virtual reality are part of the new technology landscape in many K-12 schools.

The problem is that many schools have adopted these technologies in a "techno-solution" approach, believing that technology can solve the problems facing the education system, said Natalie Millman, professor of technology education at George Washington University, et al. In an article published in the journal Current Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, researchers argue. . Now is the time to think critically about the technology teachers use, they say.

Courtesy of Natalie Millman

In an important interview with Education Week, Millman discusses why it's important to delve deeper into educational technology, what it takes to get there, and the role of teacher education programs in the thoughtful use of technology.

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Why should teachers still focus on using technology in schools?

One of the points highlighted in our article is that technology is not neutral and is meant to cause harm.

For example, the technology tools used in the classroom, in some cases teachers have no choice in the matter. So what do you do? how to use it How can you make sure it doesn't harm children especially? How can we use them to achieve justice and freedom?

Is the role of Big Tech in education really important now?

In many ways, Big Tech drives what happens in schools and how it happens when it comes to the use of educational technology. The use of various ed-tech tools determines what and how is taught, when the responsibility really rests with the teachers.

Also problematic is the ability of technology companies to track individuals and their data. What happens to the information collected? Can school systems be phased out? Are parents aware that information about their children and our school is being collected? What are school districts doing to protect children? What policies do they have to protect children's information?

I've spent most of my career advocating for technology, so I don't want to give the impression that I'm not an advocate for it. We simply ask teachers and educators to think about the tools they use and that they are not neutral. You are very political. The people who create them may have biases that we don't know about that can harm us and even our students.

How can teacher education programs address these concerns?

Historically, teacher education in particular has had this view towards techno-solutions; you use technology to solve a problem. You can use technology and make Xi better. We argue that teacher educators need to help their current and future teachers understand this difference and everything about educational technology and question its use, rather than questioning the tools themselves.

The field itself can hold the plane. Education is usually based on existing standards. There are some technology standards in teacher education that address ethics and how to be a good digital citizen, but we argue that they don't go far enough. We want to raise the standards.

How can teachers be more critical of technology integration in the classroom?

One of them is to teach his students. We need to teach our students to be skeptical consumers. Remind them that technology is only as good as design. And sometimes the design itself doesn't find the right answer and can give you the wrong answer.

What can school and district administrations do?

You can help or ask others to lead workshops and help teachers in the school system become more critical and better understand this history of educational technology.

You can implement policies that protect students and allow students, their parents, guardians and teachers to make choices about different uses of technology and the processing of their information.

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