Overview

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Motivated to Learn with Technology?
There are several sociocultural reasons why this college would offer a generalized educational technology course that "provides the pre-service teacher with an awareness of the current range of instructional and adaptive technologies" (“EDU 375,” n.d.). By the time you were in undergraduate school (2012 - Present), computer technology was supposed to be quite prevalent in American classrooms. In 1995, during President Clinton’s second presidential campaign, he requested that computers become as much a part of the classroom as the common blackboard. This was not a partisan request by the Democrats because the Republicans, led by Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, also championed this cause (Oppenheimer, 2004). In 1996, Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act, an act that provided technology funding for schools and libraries across the United States (“FCC - E-Rate,” n.d.). The United States government advocated for computers and other technologies to be placed into schools and created a funding scheme to help school districts pay for the new equipment and wiring infrastructure. With these facts in mind...

YOU should have been learning curricula with technology...in some fashion your whole life.

Stop and think about your experiences learning with technology. Use these questions to help you think?
  1. How many of your teachers used technology?
  2. What types of technology were used most often?
  3. Where did you learn to use technology? home? a computer lab? in your regular classroom?
  4. Do you like learning with technology?
  5. What do YOU think YOU need to learn in order to be an effective teacher that uses technology?

Now, that you have taken a personal inventory of your learning experiencing with technology, I would like to present you with some startling research findings about technology integration.
  1. Education reformers convinced enough school administrators that without computers in the classroom, students would not be prepared for well-paying jobs (Cuban, 1993; 2001).
  2. Schools often made purchases without knowing how they would use the technology (Oppenheimer, 2004).
  3. Universities and colleges, such as this one, responded to this large-scale deployment of technology in the K-12 world by requiring that you take a generalized technology-in-education course (like EDU 375).

When the degree planners at schools of education started thinking about offering a course that "provided an awareness of the current range of instructional and adaptive technologies" ("EDU 375," n.d.) they were trying to solve the problem of how to prepare pre-service teachers, like YOU, for a teaching career that included the integration of technology. However, “the information needed to understand the problem, depends upon one’s idea for solving it” (Rittel & Webber, 1973, p. 161). They tried to solve the problem by responding to the pressures of the education reformers of the 1990s and 2000s who said, we need to place computers in the hands of students in the classroom because if students have an understanding of how to use technology they will be prepared to compete in today’s job market (Cuban, 1993). Their response transmitted a message to the college faculty, current and future students and even the parents of the students who reviewed the educational program requirements. That message: We think our pre-service teachers need to learn how to integrate technology into their teaching. But what they did not know was that they were trying to solve a "wicked problem" (1973, p. 160) and not a "tame" problem.

hiker_cactus_navigation.pngNext up...the "Wicked Problem" of Preparing You to Teach with Technology. Find out what a "wicked problem" is and how they relate to teaching with and without technology. You can do this by following the trail.











References

Cuban, L. (1993). Computers meet classroom: Classroom wins. The Teachers College Record, 95(2), 185–210.

Cuban, L. (2001). Oversold and underused: Computers in the classroom. Harvard Univ Pr.

EDU 375. (n.d.). Retrieved December 16, 2013, from http://catalog.buffalostate.edu/undergraduate/edu-375.htm

Oppenheimer, T. (2004). The flickering mind: Saving education from the false promise of technology. Random House Inc.

Rittel, H. W. J., & Webber, M. M. (1973). Dilemmas in a general theory of planning. Policy Sciences, 4(2), 155–169.