I recently read an article by J Wellington. The article titled, "
Does ICT make your life easier? The whole point of ICT, smart phones, web 2.0 and technology as a whole, is to make life easier. By using ICT in the classroom, are you making your life easier? Are you making life easier for your students by using ICT in the classroom? I can think of various examples of educators who will answer with a resounding yes. If your answer is no, then perhaps it is time to assess how you use ICT, rather than if you use ICT. Looking for ways to make life easier? perhaps ask those teachers hooked on Edmodo.
ICT is about increasing accessibility to information.If I miss a day or so of school, is my best chance really to copy another students' work from their book? What if there was a discussion or an experiment? Technology can allow access to events and experiences that a textbook will never be able to do. The question to ask yourself then, are you making learning more accessible to your students inside, but also outside the classroom? Can they see what they missed in science class today by watching the videos on their smartphone? Can they listen to the character discussion from English because their group recorded and emailed it to them? Or in the future, did your students know to record the discussions in their university study groups so that they can later reference them whilst studying? Or listen to explanations on the bus home? Our students can not use the technology effectively if the teachers have not provided the content for them. Have you given your students access?
Do you remember that ICT is about communication?Information communication technology. How well are you communicating? But more importantly, with who are you communicating? The Internet has had a few birthdays in the public eye, finally coming to the ripe age of 2.0. Web 2.0 is about connecting not only with those people in your life, but those that would in the past have been out of reach. Educators from all over the world collaborate on a daily basis. They support, give feedback, provide resources and perhaps most importantly, provide inspiration for each other through blogs and twitter. Their classes collaborate on projects across countries and across the world. For example, the Rocketeers from one school used Skype to video call various classes all around the world, learning about their cultures and their schools. Or what about the Pass the Blog project where various classes from all around the world collaborate and contribute? Have your senior classes followed the musings of their favourite authors on twitter? Or asked a question of Brian Cox? Are you a twenty first century communicator?
ICT is a tool. Just like a hammer is a tool for building a house, a boat or a play ground. Now I am no history buff, but I feel relatively certain that the use of a hammer in building was never contested or questioned. Yes we should question what type of hammer we use, when we use the hammer and especially how effective the hammer wielder is. My argument hence, is that ICT is just a tool. Educators, whether they are lecturers, teachers or senior managers are simply not always using the tool effectively. Builders and physicists know that where you hold the hammer when hammering the nail will make you more or less effective. Your grip on technology, will do the same.