Have you ever considered how much we rely on technology for everyday tasks? The phone rings on the night stand to wake you up, a notification pops up on the screen reminding you to bring the ice cream to grandparent day, and a text from the school principal pleads with you to arrive early at school to unlock and turn on the lights. The only break that you get is at the traffic light where you finally get to check Facebook. Sound familiar? Our lives are so busy and technology makes it easy to multitask. Even in the classroom we are bombarded with technology. Schools are pushing for the newest and greatest from Apple. Is technology really helping our students? Is it possible to use technology too much? As the teacher, it is your job to determine what will best help your students.
Dr. Hart and Dr. Frejd co-wrote a book called The Digital Invasion. In this book Dr. Hart and Dr. Frejd explore how technology is changing individuals and their relationships with other people. Consider how technology has changed how we spell. You laugh because you know that it’s true. Do students see a need to know how to spell words correctly? No. They rely on their devices to correct their quickly written message. “Once we have lost the art of spelling, we may never be able to retrieve it” (p. 60). Technology has also changed how we communicate with our students and with their parents. Face-to-face meetings with parents are now a last resort. “God has created us for authentic connection and meaningful attachments – the kind of connection that has the power to secure, grow, free and transform us” (p 92). Keeping a personal relationship with both students and with parents is very important.
We are told in 1 Corinthians 14:40 that everything we do should be done decently and in order. This applies to the classroom. Everything that is done, from lesson preparation to the use of visual aids, should be done with a purpose and in good order. As you prepare your lessons, think about how you can use technology to its fullest potential but not beyond its usefulness.
~ First, calculate how much technology you use in your classroom. Is it well balanced with your other visual aids?
~ Second, consider the purpose for using the technology. Many educational apps are really cool, but your reason for using them in your classroom needs to be purposeful and with a goal in mind.
~ Third, think about your time spent in the classroom. Time is one of your most valuable resources. Don’t waste any of it!
~ Finally, consider your students. You are the teacher. You know the individual needs of your students. How many of them will benefit from using technology?
My purpose for writing this blog was not to make you hate technology, but to ask you to consider why you are using it. Make technology, like everything else you do in the classroom, purposeful.
~ Kara Carroll ~
Hart, A. D., & Frejd, S. H. (2013). The digital invasion: How technology is shaping you and your relationships. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.