I know I come off harsh on technology. I consider myself to be an early experimenter with technology in education. I had my students use twitter in class before they knew what twitter was (that was in 2007). While I am extremely skeptical of technology, I know that to be critical (rather than negative) of technology, you have to have some working knowledge of the technology. So, I’ll try lots of stuff, but as I’m trying it, I’m actively looking for the trade-offs, constraints, and limits. Sometimes it takes me a while before I can identify them, but they are always there. The decision is whether to deal with them or not.
Importantly, I apply this critical stance to all technologies in my teaching. For example, I did not like the way the whiteboard in my 8th grade science classroom kept me stuck at the front of the room. So, I cut out some smaller (2 feet by 3 feet) sections of whiteboard and hung them up on the sides and back of my classroom. Then I could make notes or draw on the boards in many different locations around the room.
Being critical of technology is important. We don’t want to get distra…
…cted by the newest thing. We want to be aware, we want to try, but we must think.