Educators have come a long way since the cave drawings of 30,000 B.C.E. and the dial-up Internet connections of the mid-1990s. But while the tools have changed, the approach, in many ways, has not. Teachers and professors should look at technology as a way to engage students and prepare them for real-world skills. If that means learning to communicate by drawing on the wall of cave, then teachers 32,000 years ago were onto something!
As Doug Woods notes in his article “Pedagogy Versus Technology,” keeping up with technology in the classroom is an age-old struggle:
I feel that many teachers are ‘uneasy’ about the technology in the classroom, possibly because they do not use it much themselves or do not feel in control of it. For such people, the pedagogy must come first and the technology should be used only where it supports or enhances the pedagogy. I have some sympathy with this view but I am concerned that this view would only strengthen current and past pedagogic practices and could become a barrier to modern, future or transformed learning. There is also an underlying dichotomy in that technology changes rapidly whereas the world of education seems to change only slowly. For many even the slow change of education is too much to cope with; this is especially true where one change takes time to embed and become accepted practice just as the next change is announced. This cycle of educational change has dogged the education system in England for the last decade or two to such an extent that teachers find it hard to keep up with the changes and sometimes have no exposure or idea of the latest pedagogic practice. With all the occurring and reoccurring changes in pedagogy, how can we even expect teachers to incorporate technology into their practice?
The video below details most of the important education technology over the last 32,000 years. You can learn more about using technology in the classroom in our guide to classroom technology. Is there technology you find particularly useful in your classroom? Let us know in the Comments section.