Growing Up with Technology

Technology is advancing at such a rate that traditional methods of teaching and learning are not pushing the full potential of both students and teachers. By using it properly inside and outside of the classroom, we can create a new dimension of teaching and learning.

Original source (nytimes.com): Fast times at woodside high  
1. Learning by Doing
All the students use computers or tablets in their classroom and hobbies. We can find also a wide range of interests outside of each area of study. They use the latest in technology - Computers, smartphones, tablets, mp3 players or digital cameras. They expect that all this "technology" works properly and fast and if not, they get bored. In my opinion, the solution is challenging them properly with creative and innovative ways. They learn by doing, not by reading the instruction manual or only listening some lectures. 

Geoff Mulgan: A short intro to the Studio School

2. Human Interaction, not Isolation

Generational differences in learning techniques are normaly in how people of different ages approach technology. We are closer to our grandparents in optimism about the future than our parent's generation. Students get a better grasp of concepts if the professor is trying to teach them by doing with hands-on work. The use of technology only enhances this "hands-on experience", it does not replace human interaction. 

 Raphael Kluzniok, The Chronicle 

3. Cut-and-Paste Culture
Technology is everywhere. The  "tech-savviness" and the traditional educational practices and ethics are coming into question. E.g. "cheating", it is a major academic infraction. When I talk to the students about this situation, they tell me that cheating is part of the culture, especially in theoretical disciplines. I have been asking myself if Is it because students aren't learning or it is because their learning and working ethic are different from myself and my colleagues. For me plagiarism is an academic environment is an infraction of choice. How can it not be? Information is easily available trough Internet and scientific papers are being sold online with a simple VPN access.

The temptation to do "copy/paste" and pull in quotes from a web site without reference is easy and  does not work any. It is necessary to implement discipline of effort, work methods and teamwork since the first day of kindergarten.

(Image source:  http://iosguides.net)

4. Access and Skills
I agree that students need to be able to use the technology. The more advanced users are (Know how to write a simple Web page, update a ready-made blog site or even download music and movies—perhaps illegally) more capability they have to deal with technological problems.

Technology is expensive and I am afraid that most users have no knowledge about how to set up a local area network or even how to troubleshoot their own computer for small problems. Even though  I agree that most technological systems are intuitive, there are certainly users with difficulties.

In some school, the students must pass a computer competency test before being promoted to high school. The average is how to use a computer for homework, checking e-mail, online chatting and surfing on  the Internet. It would be important for all courses, a basic technological discipline with computer skills beyond fundamentals like digital document archiving, web page design, using html or css, setting up wireless networks or using a firewall. These are "smalls" skills that students need to know to be more competitive.

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