Technology’s impact on culture is clear as human historical eras are identified by their dominant technologies (NAE, 2009). Postman (1992, p. 19) summarizes the deep impact technology may have on human beings:
We need to know in what ways [the computer] is altering our conception of learning, and how, in conjunction with television, it undermines the old idea of school. Who cares how many boxes of cereal can be sold via television? We need to know if television changes our conception of reality, the relationship of the rich to the poor, the idea of happiness itself. A preacher who confines himself to considering how a medium can increase his audience will miss the significant question: In what sense do new media alter what is meant by religion, by church, even by God? And if the politician cannot think beyond the next election, then we must wonder about what new media do to the idea of political organization and to the conception of citizenship.
Considering the deep effects Postman notes, preservice teachers must be equipped to consider how technology will impact the cultures of their future classrooms.
This post is from a paper I recently presented at the Association for Science Teacher Educators. For the full paper and citations, click here.