In a Future Tense Podcast on 21st Century Education, Anthony Funnell gathered opinions from several contributors at the Victorian Information Technology Teachers Association conference. They each made some highly through provoking comments.
I was ready to go to battle when Greg Whitby began by describing a focus on technology as a waste of time, further saying that "if you focus on the technology, you ignore the central problem and the central issue." Indeed, my personal opinion on the matter is that ignoring technology is a central issue in education right now. But as Greg Whitby expanded, I found myself agreeing with his points. Greg explained that focusing on technology is missing the main game. The focus should be on the quality of teaching and learning. When we consider technology we must be considering how we are going to leverage its capability as enablers of good teaching and learning. I think a lot of people focus on technology because they believe it to be the silver bullet that will fix the issues in the classroom and wider education system. It is also, as Anthony states in the podcast, easy to be seduced by the glitter of the gadget. With the educational technology market being flooded by products, it is little wonder teachers are feeling lost about what to do.
Technology doesn't educate people. PEOPLE educate people.