Technology for Technology's Sake?

Here's a note that I wrote to myself a while ago: Is it ok to implement technology in schools, for technology's sake? There's a lot of talk in our Technology Services department about the usability of some different technology (e.g. iPad, Android devices, Chromebooks, netbooks) and how they all compare to each other and what would best fit our students' needs. This is all well and good, and I believe that it needs to be done. However, another part of me is wondering: why can't we just put tech in the classrooms because it's cool?

Sure, we don't have any money. But the idea is attractive to me. Why am I a network technician today? I had a passion for electronics, computers, and fixing things when I was a kid. I loved (and still love) technology for technology's sake, which is why I don't think I've ever dreaded going to work. I love it. When I pick up an iPad, it still amazes me that I can hold the world in my hands, in such a beautiful device that is almost magical. Steve Jobs definitely got it right. This extends to non-Apple devices as well, but, of course, the iPad lends itself well to this question. Is putting technology in classrooms--say, an Apple TV, or, say, a interactive whiteboard--such a bad thing if we don't necessarily have a plan for it? I would definitely recommend against doing this district-wide, and I've heard the horror stories of district-wide expensive interactive whiteboard deployments gathering dust, but I also think that when a teacher or student has a device available to them, creativity can and will take over. Creativity responds to opportunity. From my perspective as a network technician, I know I am not a teacher. Nor am I a student (anymore, although I'm fresh out of college). I am not in a classroom every minute of the day, therefore my view of a classroom, from my paradigm, is not a complete view. The ones who actually are in the classroom daily should have the frame of mind that would respond to these opportunities.

Perhaps technology, and the excitement of it when it's available for no other reason than for the sake of technology, can help drive learning, creativity, and a passion for learning and discovering.


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