I recently wrote a small blog post on BlogHer about using technology in the classroom. Of the 3 comments it received, 2 of them were from concerned parents. They were concerned with how students are encouraged to type on a computer rather than work on their writing skills.
These comments mirror those made by some parents of my students in the past. For them, using technology in the classroom means using a computer as a word processor to eliminate messy work.
Think about that for a bit.
As educators we debate about whether or not using technology in our classrooms is a must on a philosophical level while some of our parents (and indeed teachers, too, but that is another matter) see it as an add-on to the curriculum. An add-on that could easily be done away with at times.
To be clear, I do not think that to teach without ‘technology’ (I still cringe when I type that word. It means way too many things!) is necessarily a bad thing. Using technology (ugh) is one way of developing collaborative, thoughtful students with critical thinking skills. They are other ways (Yes! I said it!) but when we do use technology in our classrooms, how are we communicating with our students’ parents about why and how we use it to enhance learning in our students?
I wrote a post about it for BlogHer as a way of bridging the gap between the philosophical bubble we have created as educators and those outside of it: