Sunday, November 4, 2012

Technology is NOT just a tool...

I just attended a (fabulous) conference where the Key Note speaker made the point that technology is just a tool. Now believe it or not, I have heard that before. I have even said it myself. I understand the point that everyone is trying to make. It isn't really about the technology it is about the pedagogy, technology should be like oxygen,  the technology shouldn't come first, etc. etc. etc.

All of that is true, but really technology is not just a tool. Marshall McLuhan famously said "The medium is the message." The technology tools we use impact teaching and learning in more ways than we realize. We use these tools as status symbols (as I write this on my brand new Chromebook) and as political statements (are you a mac or a pc?). The tools we use send many messages about who we are as learners and teachers and schools. Are you a 1 to 1 laptop school, an iPad school, a virtual school, are you an innovative teacher, a traditional teacher, are you a 21st century teacher?

We shouldn't fool ourselves that these things don't matter. They do. The more we are aware of the messages we send through the tools that we use, the better able we are to send the right messages.

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