Technology x Education
Innovation x education ≠ technology x education
Working in the education field for 3 months now, I can start to see and understand quicker now, how people think about education in terms of innovation and technology. One thing I have found out is very clear. Simply incorporating technology into the classroom is not innovation. Innovation in education comes from the shift in philosophy, purpose, and mechanism of the modern society (which are partly due to technology, but not all). Technology, in this context, is no more than a tool (but yes, a super powerful one), or in other words, a part of how the dynamics in education should change.
Student centered learning, adopted learning, skills based learning, active learning, ICT, STEAM, empathy….all these various things are the components in creating a dynamic shift, so there is no reason to say that the foremost important thing in education now is technology-based learning, not to mention it being the reason.
Blindly believing technology is the only solution to our world is dangerous. It’s super important to know what we can do and cannot do using technology in the education field. So the question is: How can we incorporate technology to benefit us and to advance the changes we need to see?
I wanted to know in depth about the dynamic of schools putting technology for a better, more purposeful and efficient use. I was at an event in the Google office with several people from the education sector on Friday, and I have some things to share with you.
One point that stuck in my mind from a salesperson in google was:
“So many schools just want to use our technology and services, without having a strong vision of what they want to achieve through using google.”
I do not meant that technology is not important, but it cannot be the sole purpose of education. Technology itself cannot be the reason why we educate people. It is a tool to help our development. From my point of view, purpose in education is to develop people who can define and strive for their happiness in relation to the dynamics in society. It would be things like how we can be life-long learners, how we can interact with people, how we can be more observant of the world so on and so forth.
A glimpse of what we and our younger generations have to function with in the coming era:
So when I see educators losing the purpose of education and just submitting themselves to having “better technology” in the classrooms, I feel threat to what will become of our new generations in 10, 15, 20 years time.
Questions about digital whiteboards
Another thought that came to me was when one of the teachers at the event commented about the new google jamboard:
“We need a larger digital whiteboard than that because class sizes now are too big. When can we have all classrooms around the country to have massive digital whiteboards?”
I can see that yes, in the current context the whiteboard needs to be larger, but when we think of smaller, project based education, whiteboards might not need to be so big, because
A) there will be online white boards if everyone wants to collaborate in one place (like in Minerva school)
B) Classes themselves will be much smaller so digital whiteboards don’t need to be as big anymore
If we think from the roots, it’s clear that there will be (or there should not be) a situation where everyone is using a huge digital whiteboard together. It just doesn’t make much sense when we are talking about having more efficient learning through smaller discussion groups.
This question made me think about how it is so easy for teachers to try and predict the future of education only from the perspective of technology implementation rather than how we holistically change education that is relevant to our society while incorporating technologies like the google jam book whiteboard.
Of course there are many ways how technology can make learning smarter, neater and efficient. Take a look at all the things google classrooms can do!
The world is becoming smaller, flat, connected, and reachable at an unprecedented rate. How we make use of technology will determine if we can take advantage of the opportunities out there or become the victims of this shrinking world. The same goes to how we shape education too.