The Limited Nature of Technology (part 1)

Unfortunately, “We have been brought up on the myth that almost any problem can be solved with a technological solution” (Ely, 1995, p. 12).  However, technology cannot solve all problems.  Preservice teachers must recognize that some problems must be dealt with at a much deeper level.  For example, Waight and Abd-El-Khalick (2007) when researching a classroom in which the teacher was known for inquiry and technology found that when technology was used, the level of inquiry suffered.  Given this negative impact of technology, we cannot expect technology to suddenly transform a traditional classroom into a highly effective inquiry-based classroom.  The issue here lies in the fundamental disposition of the teacher.  As Okan (2003, p. 255) notes:

[E]ducation is concerned with the development of cognitive structures and that educational technology is a medium, not a pedagogy that is useful in creating such learning environments.

Considering the limits of technology, one wonders why education reformers spend so much energy touting the need to infuse technology in schools. Providing a traditional teacher with modern technology simply means the technology will get used to reinforce traditional teaching (Ely, 1995; Lazlo and Castro, 1995; Fraser & Deane, 1999; Selber, 2004).


This post is from a paper I recently presented at the Association for Science Teacher Educators. For the full paper and citations, click here.

This entry was posted in Critical Examination of Technology, Education Research, Nature of Teaching, Nature of technology, Technology in the Classroom and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Limited Nature of Technology (part 1)

  1. Pingback: Jared Stein – Education, Technology, Culture, and the Internet » Jerrid Kruse on What Tech Enables for Teaching and Learning

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