4 Replies Latest reply: Mar 20, 2011 12:17 PM by Kingston RSS

Learning with Technology vs. Teaching with Technology

Kingston Apprentice
Currently Being Moderated

Learning with Technology vs. Teaching with Technology, what's the difference?


With education cuts right around the corner, I know that we don't want to lose the technology we have, but want more.  Now how are we going to convience the "Powers to Be/Administration/School Boards" on giving us more and not cutting? 


Well, I think that the answer comes in the knowledge of our first question, "Learning with Technology vs. Teaching with Technology, what's the difference?"


Please give me your opinions so we can keep what we have and acquire more............thanks!



  • Learning with Technology vs. Teaching with Technology
    Tammy Dewan Novice
    Currently Being Moderated

    Since educational funding is being cut and purchasing new technology is not seen as a priority in many schools, I was wondering if schools would consider using the technology that the students already own?  Kids are already learning with technology, however, most of that learning is being done outside the classroom.  There are teachers that allow students to bring in their cell phones, iPods and iPads and they encourage them to use their devices to seek their own knowledge.  To me this is more "learning" with technology since the students have their hands on the technology.  If the teacher has their hands on the technology, this would be more of the "teaching" with technology.  I think there needs to be a balance of both in the classroom. 


    Kingston, I know you teach in an affluent area and your students probably have access to personal laptops,  Smartphones, iPads, iPods, etc.  Would your district consider allowing students to use their own equipment?  Just like college students who can use their own laptops/iPads.  That way you would still have access to the latest technology if they cut funding for technology? 

    • Learning with Technology vs. Teaching with Technology
      Kingston Apprentice
      Currently Being Moderated

      Tammy, this is where my school district and many middle school district are not in the 21st Century.  They are afraid that when studsents' laptops come to school other files will come to school also.......need I say more. 



    • Learning with Technology vs. Teaching with Technology
      Lynne Hoffman Apprentice
      Currently Being Moderated

      Hi Tammy,


      The same is true in my district as Kingston noted in her post.  School districts are concerned not only about the content on student technological devices but also the liability issues if something happens to the students' personal property, such as being responsibile for replacing the item if it is stolen.  As I understand the law, teachers (school districts) become responsible for these items if they require their students to bring them to class.


      You have a good idea, but there are many ramifications to consider.



  • Re: Learning with Technology vs. Teaching with Technology
    Kingston Apprentice
    Currently Being Moderated

    The following is an article found by one of my colleagues, Cynthia Wirth........well worth the short read.



    Five Reasons for Integrating Technology

    By Heather Wolpert-Gawron


    ShareForward Comments(5) Comment RSS Print

    We speak about the achievement gap between the different cultures in our schools. Meanwhile, however, many of the stakeholders in education have created a vast trench that lies between those who accept the inevitability of technology and those who still refute its place in our classrooms.

    Policymakers demand our schools must reflect the 21st century, yet continue to deny schools the funding to do just that. Additionally, our districts block many of the online sites for collaboration from our schools.

    It is fear that guides many of the decisions about educational technology: fear that we will be left globally behind by countries more committed to technology integration and also fear that our students will somehow be scarred its use.

    Frankly, there are many reasons to avoid providing technology as a more common and frequent tool in education. However, as stated in "Strictly Ballroom," one of my favorite movies, "a life lived in fear is a life half lived." Fear cannot shut us down from our mission: to educate students for their future.

    For the Naysayers

    Here are some typical arguments against technology in schools -- and better ones for using it:

    1. The legal issues are daunting: what if a student writes inappropriate content online? Answer: Our job is to teach them how to use the tools of the real world. After all, using a circular saw is dangerous too, but only through shop class have many students learned to build a birdhouse safely. So is it with technology. Parents and teachers must be a part of monitoring and modeling. It may be scary, but without teaching students about appropriate use, they will surely encounter exactly that which we are most scared of.

    2. How ever will we train all those teachers? Answer: It's simple. Have teachers train teachers. Give teachers who know how the paid release time to be trainers during their contracted hours of those who don't know how. There are willing teachers on every site, at every district, teachers willing to take on hybrid roles in education that allow them one foot in the classroom and one foot working to improve the pedagogy and practice of those who need to learn. For those who train, they will, as a result, avoid burnout by being permitted ways to utilize their other skills, all the while helping other teachers improve their own 21st century knowledge.

    3. Where does the time come from? How can we add more to a teacher's plate? Answer: How 'bout this? Don't. Instead, take something off teachers' plates rather than put more on. We have to prioritize, and including technology is too important. We can't continue to have teachers waste their time on the curricular needs of yesteryear. We need to redefine how a teacher spends their time during the day and redefine the curriculum of tomorrow.

    4. Some students don't have access to technology at home so how can we expect them to use it for assignments? Answer: To this I say, many homes don't have libraries either, but we still teach how to read. The fact is that it's a school's job to step up to provide and instruct. Even though some students may not have access to a computer at home, the school needs to see its role in equalizing the differences between those who have and those who don't. It's also society's role to find a way to provide for those homes in a more equitable way or our country's children will be left behind. Some districts are already working in conjunction with phone providers and computer companies to help bridge this gap. Those districts should not be few and far between, but should be commonplace.

    5. It's expensive. Answer: Nevertheless, we cannot afford to fall any more behind in our comfort and use of technology. Policymakers need to start backing up their demands with funds. Parents need to be a part of monitoring their student's use at home. Teachers must continue to develop the skills that make them the technology guides in the classroom. For as the gap gets ever wider, the money it will take to fill the divide will increase. We are already in the red. Our reluctance to think and plan ahead has already created a debt of technological knowledge.

    Taking Action

    We can't allow fear to dictate our progress, nor can we allow those who won't move forward to dictate whether we do move forward. We cannot allow policymakers to insist on adoption and not provide for it, or worse yet, tentatively provide it and not find bravery and support by those within education's walls.

    Teachers need to be on the forefront of curriculum, not in its wake. We need to be leading the charge towards preparing our students for their future, not hindering our march towards tomorrow.

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