Wednesday, November 5, 2014

EdTech: The Good

The other day, a friend and I got into a discussion about young children using technology. As a dad of a little one he was genuinely interested in my research on tech use and was asking tons of questions. I’ve come to realize that my blog has turned introspective of the entire edtech movement, trying to divine how we can navigate the murky waters we find ourselves in.

And that led to this three-part blog series: The Good, the Bad, and the Balance.

November 5: The Good
November 6: The Bad
November 7: The Balance

This may seem to be an exercise in the obvious, but it’s important to recognize why we are working so hard to bring technology to our students.  Here are five reasons why I believe it’s important to delve into educational technology.

  1. Technology isn't going away anytime soon. From money management to ordering a sub, if you’re not on the technology bandwagon it will be harder to maintain any sort of lifestyle in America.
  2. Jobs are becoming more technical. I remember back in the day when I wrote in a grade book and figured report card grades via calculator. Those days are history in education, but all jobs are going high tech as well. As one someone in the banking field told me, having a basic IT education would reduce helpdesk requests manifold in companies and save lots of money.
  3. Facts are at our fingertips. Remember when we had to go to a bookshelf or a library to find information? Remember what it was like to look up a word in a dictionary?  Now we can find answers to anything we want in seconds with a few taps on the screen.
  4. Technology allows collaboration like never before. We have the ability to connect with people from all around the globe and thereby gain knowledge and expertise. Plus, by publishing our work online, we can get global recognition and feedback.
  5. Innovation, creativity, and coding are wonderful things.  If you can combine all three of these things in your life, you have some major tools for a successful career.

What do you think are some of the benefits of teaching technology in schools?


  1. Reasons 1 and 2 are the cause for the struggle with allowing my son to have access to tablets. I don't want to put him behind his peers, and as he gets older the world is going to get more and more competitive where every edge will become a deciding factor for him. If I limit his time too much, I'm putting him behind (technologically speaking), and if I give him free unlimited access, I'm crippling him for all the reasons you talked about in "The Bad" part of this article. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to your release of "The Balance" :)

    1. Excellent thoughts. Honestly, I firmly believe that keeping our kids low-tech does them major disservice. The reality is that we need to be the adults in the relationship and guide the kids. The problem is that we're combating the same potholes the kids are battling. Here's The Balance link:

  2. Just got my check for over $500.

    Sometimes people don't believe me when I tell them about how much you can get by taking paid surveys at home...

    So I show them a video of myself actually getting paid $500 for filling paid surveys to set the record straight.