teaching with technology

“teaching with technology” seems to be a conceptual misconstruction that highlights the two issues of technology in classes that are pretty moot when technology is used right. the first is the teacher, the second is the role of technology. to be with, means to be not ‘of’, so teaching with technology will always be bringing it in, but keeping it outside of the practices. I think the proper frame is “learning through technology”. Learning focuses on the learners in the classroom as they are coming to be, the place of technology as being something that we learn through, something that we holistically embrace as part of the learning process transforms it to something that is closer to the everyday lives of our students.

we should give up on “teaching with technology” and move to “learning through technology”.

0 comments on “teaching with technology

  1. jason says:

    lol. First I assume you’re going to keep using technology to mean digital technology. Chalk and blackboard is great tech.

    To take ‘technology’ and place it above everything is obviously stupid. There are a number of pedagogical and curricular models that can engage the advantages of technology, and that aren’t used in higher ed because most higher ed weenies have less experience with a wide varied of teaching and learning models.

    I think the notion is rather well put as a ‘technology infused curriculum’ or pedagogy. Of course the key is an understanding of the specific value, outcome or objective that is met by each specific piece of technology… without having that clear it is just a waste of time.

  2. jeremy says:

    well teaching and the modes of teaching is a technology as is every object in the classroom, the question was whether the technology goes ‘with’ teaching, or whether like books, technology is part of the organic whole of learning.

  3. Rochelle says:

    Books: great technology. 😛

    While an instructor can bring content/ideas/technologies of any variety to bear on a particular classroom experience, can you really say that the instructor can mandate that the learning moments of students will necessarily happen with technology?

    Teaching with technology at least locates the power of the instructor exactly where it sits; in the teaching, communication of ideas, inthe structure of the curriciulum itself, in their own actions and decisions. The learning happens with the students (at least, the learning we’re referring to in this context). Instructors don’t have power over students’ internal processes in the same way that they have power over their own (much as many instructors would like to imagine otherwise), and I think the distinction is important to point out. While I agree with Jason that privileging internet technology as some sort of radically different tool (digital expectionalism, anyone?) is unhelpful, I’d argue that it’s important to remember the distributed power within a classroom and acknowledge that an instructor can bring content, tools, ideas, enthusiasm, etc., but they cannot mandate or organize precisely how learning will happen.

  4. jeremy says:

    there is no mandate to use anything, and if you prefer the wizard of oz model of teaching… watching the teacher provide the goodies and controlling things behind the scenes, kids consuming the goodies and being subjected to the teacher, that’s fine. I think students already use technology everyday, i think teachers use it everyday, i do not think that it should be rhetorically constructed as a ‘with’, because it no longer is something you ‘bring in’. it is already there, the students are already learning through it, so… what are we doing teaching with it? alienating the concept at best.

  5. jason says:

    “well teaching and the modes of teaching is a technology as is every object in the classroom, the question was whether the technology goes ‘with’ teaching, or whether like books, technology is part of the organic whole of learning.”

    That sort of organistic reductionism doesn’t help the issue much; “It’s all part of everything, and it’s all twisty…” But I think we agree on this…

    The key is of course ‘appropriate’ technology, the critical integration of technology into learning environments, and the use of student-centred learning tools and pedagogies; i.e. what Rochelle says.

  6. jason says:

    ” it is already there, the students are already learning through it, so… what are we doing teaching with it? alienating the concept at best.”

    I think you ned to unpack that. It is often NOT there, students often learn in opposition or despite it, or are hampered by it. That’s what causes the confusion of “what are we doing teaching with it?”

    We are engaged in learning environments… tools are part of those environments. They can be used well or poorly, thoughtfully or thoughtlessly, wisely or foolishly. In the end, the technologies and their application are not nearly as important as how the learning environment is negotiated between the learners and the educator.

  7. Rochelle says:

    Well that’s a different question; “teaching with technology” or, to employ Jason’s better term, “technology infused curriculum”, is focusing particularly on using technology as part of the piece that is in the power of the teacher, and is expected by society at large to remain in the power of the teacher (for good or for ill). Student action isn’t unrelated by any means, but linking that experience and process to what is meant by “teaching” and “curriculum” is clouding the actual power relations inside a classroom.

    To suggest that instructors do not have significant power over every aspect of classrom interaction is, I’d suggest, dangerous. That power relationship should not be obscured lest instructors forget to check their culturally-mandated privilege. Even excellent instructors who distribute and relinquish power as part of their teaching retain some element of it; for that reason, I think there’s some value in still focusing on the pieces that instructors are bringing into the classroom and how they’re delivering those pieces.

  8. jeremy says:

    tools are part of the environment was precisely what i was saying, they aren’t something we bring in, and if we do bring them in, we shouldn’t bring them in as centered on the teaching, but centered on the learning.

  9. Rochelle says:

    Jeremy’s milkshake brings all the pedagogues to his yard! 😛

  10. Rochelle says:

    I’m glad we cleared that up, then. 😛

  11. jason says:

    Oh, so this was just about “bring” as a part of speech? K. Well sometimes the tools are elsewhere and we have to bring them down the hall to the class. And sometimes they’ve never been in a class, so they must be brought in. And that can be physical and conceptual. Tools are part of an environment, but that doesn’t make them everywhere at all times. There’s always a moment for the new or the relocalization of the old. Glad we all agree on that.

  12. jeremy says:

    yes, it was only about ‘teaching with’ as opposed to ‘learning through’ it is the ‘with teachers’ that is my point of critique.