I was asked by a student in a Communications class to answer the following questions. My responses are as follows:
1. Has the use of technology changed in the classroom changed since you started teaching? If so, how?
I received my education degree in 1999, although the Internet was used in my college classrooms, it was not widely available nor was it used in schools. The advent of wikipedia, and other Internet resources have greatly changed the way content is taught. Another major change for technology is affordability. When I began teaching desktop computers were in labs and classrooms, but projectors, document cameras and smart boards were not widely used or available. Now laptops, and their flexibility have transformed classrooms, by having the computer labs come to them.
2. Have you seen technology use in the classroom as an advantage or a disadvantage?
I personally see technology in the classroom as an advantage in the classroom. In order to prepare our students for the 21st Century, we need to be providing them with the skills they will need after they graduate.
3. Are you required to take classes when a new form of technology has to be applied in your teaching? If so, are they helpful?
When I was in the K-12 classroom I was required to take Continuing Education Units, these were not always technology workshops, but reading, differentiated instructions, etc. The quality of these classes varied, but I always enjoyed finding out about a new technology and how teachers were using it in their classroom.
4. How do you think technology in the classroom will be used in the next ten years?
I believe (actually hope) that technology will change the classroom dynamic that we currently see. With the advent of ubiquitous computing, I foresee every student having their own laptop. That technology will be as common and as required as pen and paper are. Lessons and classrooms will need to be student and project focused rather than lecture and teacher focused.
5. When students are given the opportunity to use online courses it means that they are to be trusted to do their own work. When you observe students taking online course, do you think that they're benefiting from having full responsibility or do you think they take the easy way out?
I think you need to change the dynamics of your assignment. If everyone is given the same assignment or quiz, the temptation to share information is too great. Students need to be given projects or activities that either require collaboration and group work is encouraged, or individual projects.
6. How do you think technology use can be improved so that students can do honest work and gain from online courses?
I don't believe that the technology needs to be improved, I think the classes need to be changed to a different medium. (See answer above)
7. The Internet is a helpful tool when researching. Some sites are so helpful that the students don't even have to do much work. How do you feel about this?
If your class is the simple regurgitation of facts, rather than a synthesis of what appears on the Internet, than the class is flawed.
8. Do you think that technology will replace teachers altogether?
If as a student I could learn something by reading it in a book, then reading it on the Internet would be no difference. Even dynamic interaction of online games, etc. is not as conducive to learning as a teacher is. Computers will never replace teachers, because we need them to challenge, adapt, encourage, and assist us in ways a computer could never do.
I feel that the questions are a bit skewed towards "Internet Bad" and that my answers were probably a bit too "Internet Good." But that's what they get for asking a Tech Facilitator :)