I am a firm believer in the enabling and transformative power of technology in education. However, this belief rests firmly on the understanding that technology is not a silver bullet to the challenges in contemporary education, that pedagogy needs to come first and like any skill, students need to learn how to use it.
As Comi et al. (2017) discusses, it is the pedagogical approaches teachers use with technology that make the difference to educational outcomes. Adding a technology component to a learning experience doesn’t ensure student success or automatically improve learning. This not only requires a certain level of skill from teachers, but also students. Young people do not speak the digital language until, like preceding generations, they learn how to do so (Smith, Skrbis & Western, 2013). Digital natives (Prensky, 2001) are a myth.
While these understandings caution, they do not lessen the opportunities that technology allows or the argument why it must be prioritised in education.
Comi, S. L., Argentin, G., Gui, M., Origo, F., & Pagani, L. (2017). Is it the way they use it? Teachers, ICT and student achievement. Economics of Education Review, 56, 24-39.
Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon, 9(5), 1–2.
Smith, J., Skrbis, Z., & Western, M. (2013). Beneath the ‘Digital Native’ myth Understanding young Australians’ online time use. Journal of Sociology, 49(1), 97-118.
Hello, my name is Laura. I am currently studying my Masters of Education, specialising in Information Technologies. I work as the Head of Digital Learning and Innovation at an independent school in Queensland. I invite you to connect with me on social media via the links below.