Child Driven Education

I was very interested in what Mitra had to say about technology and how it impacted children in different parts of India. I found it fascinating how they taught themselves how to use the browser and, well, the computer in general. I do understand that due to his results he believes technology is the future of teaching our children but I do not agree with him at all. Now, I may be a bit biased since I want to be a teacher, and I do realize that technology is rising and children learn with technology. But, I am also a firm believer that teachers are needed in the classroom for various reasons. I know that a computer can do things that a teacher can’t. But it also goes the other way around as well. A teacher is needed in the classroom to teach students things like how to communicate with people and be there to teach all the different kind of learning styles (visual, hands on, etc.).

Now, I do know he said that for certain things a teacher is needed, but he was a firm believer in technology being the way of the future to teach. He did his research in countries that do not have access to a computer therefore, was amazed when children had the ability to teach themselves on something that they’ve never seen before. I sort of see that as common sense; give a kid a new toy they are going to be curious and want to learn how the toy works. But what happens if the toy is given to them since birth? Wouldn’t it eventually become a distraction? What I am trying to say is, in foreign countries( like India) they have never seen a computer and therefore would use it in a matter that is useful, but look at countries like the United States. We rely on technology like no other. At any hour of the day, if we have a question all we have to do is tap a button on our phones and google it. Nicholas Carr wrote an article called, Is Google Making Us Stupid? where is states the negatives of the use of technology in which I found it very interesting and very true. Of course, technology has its perks but how many times do you see people distracted by their cellphones or by social media? I am no hypocrite because I know I am very guilty of doing both. I know all Mitra was talking about was using technology in the classroom but he never once mentioned that possible distractions that come with using it all the time.

Overall, I do believe he had a point but I do think it depends where you put the technology, and how far one will you allow the children to use it. I am not totally against technology use in the classroom, it would be arrogant of me to completely exclude it from my classroom but I think there just needs to be a balance.

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2 thoughts on “Child Driven Education

  1. I loved this 🙂 I know I didn’t have the same opinion as you when I wrote about Mitra in my blog. I should’ve seen the other side of things, where us teachers are being put in a position, where we can’t aid the students more than we want to. I mean, when I listened to his TedTalk, I just thought about how technology can make learning for children much easier. I just didn’t think it would be something to replace us future teachers if it came to that. Like you said, he had a strong belief in what is called minimally invasive education, in which teachers take the backseat. I know nowadays, when I visit my old high school, I noticed that this is the approach most of the math teachers do and it’s because they want students to facilitate their own learning. Not sure if that’s the right thing though. Anyways, I loved how you stood your ground Kassie on your position and glad to have you as a peer for this class ^_^

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  2. I think that the fact that technology is so pervasive in our culture is the main reason why it NEEDS to be a part of our classrooms. In order for our subjects and our teaching to remain relevant, it needs to incorporate the technologies that we use every day. With every new technology, there is always resistance to change. I’m an aspiring math teacher, and have already seen examples of technology changing the way that subjects are taught. For example, when I first took statistics, a lot of what we learned was how to use charts to calculate various values – it was very computation driven. In contrast, as I am currently observing an AP Statistics class, I see that students now learn to use their calculators (or computer programs) to calculate those values automatically, and instead the focus is on analysis of the values – a much more useful skill, and much more applicable in the real world, where there is no reason for spending the time crunching thousands of number when a computer can do it in seconds. Another example I can think of in math is that of the slide rule and calculator. When handheld calculators became more common and slide rules began to be phased out, many professors worried that their students would become lazy. Instead, they were able to complete work in less time with less busy work and progress forward more quickly. I think that for teachers to remain relevant, we need to embrace the technologies that can help our students learn faster and better.

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