Learning to Change, Changing to Learn

(Found at Ramblings of a Technology Coordinator)

Katrina Adams
Howdy folks! I’m an Instructional Designer at UT Dallas. I have a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Angelo State University and a Master’s in Computer Education and Cognitive Systems from the University of North Texas. I’ve been working in edtech for 11 years. Hmm… what else? I’m a *huge* fan of that little Irish band called U2, and I’m a bigtime Firefly/Serenity advocate.

3 thoughts on “Learning to Change, Changing to Learn

  1. Matt Crosslin

    Coal mining actually uses a pretty extensive amount of technology, despite what some people seem to think….

    I hate to tell that British guy, but he is about the 500th person (low estimate) that I have heard in the past 6 years or so that have ‘just finished’ working on ‘something’ that is going to radically change learning as we know it. Hasn’t happened yet…

    Part of me just sighs when I hear stuff like this. I used to love it, but have grown tired of it. We are so enamored with youth in this culture that we bow down and worship at the altar of what any kid calls ‘cool.’ We so desire to be hip ourselves – are we really helping education?

    Do you know how many times as a teenager that I lied about being bored just because I wanted to bug an adult? Have we ever stopped to ask ourselves if kids don’t like it – does it really make it bad?

    I’m predicting that someday we will see an actual decline in computer skills. Programming will start dying out. Because learning a programming language is very, very, very boring. It just is – but you have to learn all of the rules to make it work. But because it isn’t social or engaging to sit there and learn a language, eventually the bored teenager is going to convince us that we are ‘teaching it wrong’ and we will drop computer programming from colleges?

    I get ashamed at some famous speakers and their followers – those that bow at the altar of youth. ‘You want texting in school? Yes master. Email is for old people? Yes master – we will kill email and replace it all with texting!’ As adults – and I feel like a broken record always saying this – we need to be the ones guiding children, not just acting like we are the idiots and they are the experts. We should be open to new technologies – but teach kids to keep using technologies and systems that are still needed and relevant.

    We don’t need anything really new in education – we just need to start doing what we were supposed to have been doing all along – passing on that which works, adding new stuff that is helpful, and dumping the old stuff that is no longer necessary. I was taught that over 20 years ago by my teachers in grade school – you don’t just throw out all the old stuff every year just because it is old and get all new stuff just because it is new.

  2. Katrina Adams

    I am not suggesting we throw out the old and completely replace it with the new. I am suggesting that instead of banning these technologies from the classroom, we should try to incorporate them. This technology is becoming a part of everyday life, and whether you agree with it or not, why not incorporate it into learning?

    And it’s not the amount of technology involved in coal mining that’s important. The point is that education ranks last.

  3. Matt Crosslin

    Well, of course I know you don’t suggest that – I was referring to the people in the video :)

    The weird thing about that first statement of the video is – ranks last in what? ‘Technology intensiveness’? What the heck does that mean? And by who? The Department of Commerce? What does that have to do with education? He didn’t give a reference for what that statistic means – other than education is last. But last in what? If it’s ‘use of education’, then that’s bad. If it’s the ‘commercialization of technology’ (it is the Dept. of Commerce after all), then that is actually a good thing. They just don’t give any context at all for that statistic.

    I think some of those people reminded me of Marc Prensky, so that is why I had a knee jerk reaction :) Bad EduGeek. But technology integration has always been a part of education. Some people act like it NEVER happens – when it really does. It always has.

    And they get paid a lot of money to go around making statements about this big change we need in education. Well, we really just need to ignore the few weirdo professors that ban laptops in classrooms and focus on those that are doing it right. Because when you make statements like some of these people in the video did, you end up disrespecting those thousands of educators that are doing something good by drawing these blanket statements that the whole system needs an overhaul. Not really – it just needs a pruning – cut off that which is bad and feed that which is good.

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