Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Day 28: My Blogging Challenge

Welcome to day 28 of my blogging challenge. In case you missed what it's all about, you can read more about it in Day 1.

Today's challenge: Should technology drive curriculum or vice versa?

On first glance, I thought - well, curriculum should always be at the foundation of any educational decision. And, while it is, technology is also at the foundation.

Here's why: technology drives change in our society. Facebook was created and now, our social interactions have forever changed, calling for action in the education industry. So, in that regard, technology does drive curriculum because it creates changes in our day-to-day lives, which calls for change in education.

HOWEVER...curriculum should also drive technology or at least be the backbone. One of the common mistakes I see teachers make (and I do this myself more often than I'd like to admit) is find a cool new tool and try to force it into their curriculum. Doing it that way is just forcing technology into the curriculum. When I ask my high school Warrior Tech members how technology should be used in the classroom, they say "it shouldn't be used to just use it. It should be clean and careful." Meaning, technology should be used to help teach something you couldn't without. For instance, when I taught HS English, I was frustrated at teaching research skills to my students. They did not grasp citations nor did they ever cite their work. I stumbled upon Easy Bib and integrated into my classroom as a solution to that issue - not because I just had to use Easy Bib. See the difference? It's a fine line.

So, I guess they are kind of the same. Technology is used to help students learn. It drives change in our day-to-day lives which, as educators, we must address in the classroom. In addressing it, we may use technology to help those students. It's cyclical. You can't have one without the other. You need both technology and curriculum. And, they aren't separate. For every curriculum discussion, there needs to be those in tech-focused areas involved and vice versa.

I could go on...

What about you? Should tech drive curriculum or vice versa?

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