Discussion:  All Activities 
Topic:  the use of technology 
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Subject:  RE: the use of technology 
Author:  Hightower 
Date:  Apr 23 2008 
Some teachers have different viewpoints on the use of technology in
the classroom. I am writing to get opinions from other teachers.
During my first year as a teacher I have begun to use the smartboard
which is wonderful. This is a great tool. The students are also
fascinated by it. Especially my visual learners. I can do things
with the smartboard that I would never be able to do on a black
board.
However, some teachers are opposed to the use of
technology in the classroom. Is it fear? I would appreciate any
responses.
Thanks,
Dawn
Dawn,
I wasn't aware that there were still teachers who object to the use of
technology in the classroom.
Back in the day, I knew of teachers who, for example, refused to use calculators
because they believed that it prevented students from learning how to perform
basic math calculations using addition, subtraction, multiplication and
division.
Today, enlighened teachers know that scientific calculators, if properly used,
can help students with weak basic math backgrounds learn the fundamentals of
arithmetic, in addition to helping other students explore and begin to learn
more advanced mathematics technique in very early grades.
Dawn, technology is like any other tool: in the hands of a teacher who knows his
or her subject well and how to use technology as a tool to engage, motivate and
help students teach themselves, it is an extremely exciting and powerful
tool.
And let's be clear, Dawn: by technology, I'm talking about graphing calculators,
notably, the Texas Instruments series, TI83, 84, 86, 89, 92 and especially
the stateofthe art TIInspire, the Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet, Fathom,
Geometer's Sketchpad and many, many other math software packages that early
mathematicians, who grunted things out by hand, could have never dreamed would
ever be available.
And by the way, Dawn, just because a teacher uses technology, it doesn't mean
that students don't need to know how to do many things by hand.
I always asked my students to do things with and without technology, just so
they could perform if a calculator was not available. So, don't listen to any
teacher who is opposed to technology.
All technology, properly used, can ever be is an enabler. The goal of all
learning is deep understanding and ability to develop skills that can be used to
prevent or solve problems.
In the hands of a competent and creative teacher, technology is a huge boon to a
class of curious, enthusiastic and motivated students.
 
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