Throughout my entire life, I have been a huge fan of science fiction media. I’ve always thought that science fiction creators have one commonality with students-they are both trying to take today’s world and re-imagine it completely. This is no easy task but it can be done with creativity. My philosophical perspective on the role of technology in the classroom is centered around the imagination.
It is safe to say that I will always be a bit old school. Paper and ink will always be what my academic heart cries for. However, the world we live in isn’t having it, and who wants to look backwards? The technology that we have at our disposal would make our ancestors cry out in amazement and it only gets more intense by the day. Undoubtedly, there are some problems with technology, such as cost, reliability and how quickly tech becomes obsolete, but computers aren’t going anywhere. Students need to be exposed to as much technology we can throw at them. As computers become more and more wrapped around our lives, we must rethink cities and our very citizenship.
One of my main views on technology in the classroom is encompassed by the word fluidity. In other words, we need to let technology work itself into our lives organically. Our communities cannot afford to invest in every new gadget, nor can we afford to not expose our children to the machines of the future. For instance, 3D printing has become a technology that humans are starting to use for a variety of reasons and its potential is now clear. So, let us invest in that and give students across the nation access to that trailblazing tech. Schools should have the latest and most broad-reaching technology that is within our financial grasp. Teachers and parents need to do everything they can to prepare students for their future role in our society, a role that will be largely defined by how they use modern tools.
After the testing craze of the “No Child Left Behind” era, I hope that we start to emphasize critical thinking curriculum. To me, critical thinking is greatly enhanced by creativity, which can all be enhanced through technological tools. As a social studies teacher, I cannot wait to use message boards, or a live feed to connect my students with real professionals, or to assign projects that require students to use their math and map skills in tandem on a GPS application.
The doors to the future are waiting for our students and it is our job to show them the tools to get there. We must set aside money and politics to give students the tools of today because they are making the tools for tomorrow. The problems of the 21st century are going to require us to forget the box, not just think outside of it. The job of every teacher should be to inspire the collective imagination it will take to solve the problems of the future.