We are the magic, not the technology/ Focus #2

Standards: 2.6; 3.1; 4.5;

Technology is used ubiquitously in most classrooms at MHS. It’s most successful when it enables or enriches good pedagogy. As an add-on it fails. I think about this a lot when envisaging 21st century learning spaces and behaviours. When you add technology to what you already do then it’s not transformative. New, flexible spaces? Yes, they might encourage different kinds of learning and teaching but without a clear pedagogical vision, it’s just the same thing in a new fancy setting.

We get caught up in technology – applauding it, criticising it, defining and redefining it. It is at once our saviour and our damnation. It. It. It isn’t anything without us, without our thinking and attitude driving it.

In schools and universities, technology is at the centre of debate about what works and what doesn’t in education. Often used as a scapegoat for failed projects, technology is not autonomous; it is something we need to take control of in a collective, creative way. Yes, it shapes how we do things.  Yes, it’s changed the way we do things. It has become ubiquitous. As it continues to develop at an unsurpassed rate, we need to remember – more than at any time in history so far – that it is a tool in our hands.

In his TED talk, and with the aid of exquisite photography, Alex Hammond demonstrates the personal relationship between pencils and their creative owners to remind us that we are the magic behind what is created – not the technology.


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