Home > Class, Community, Education, Learning, Learning and Analytics 2011, Society, Technology > Never Frozen: The Classroom’s Relation to Technological Development

Never Frozen: The Classroom’s Relation to Technological Development

January 16, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

How did the chalkboard revolutionize education? Did the desk drastically change the way educators functioned inside a classroom? Certainly these changes, though minor, had a profound effect on students and educators. Consider the reaction of an educator entering a classroom on Monday morning to find that a chalkboard has been installed. Though a minor addition, the educator’s response and adjustment to teaching would forever alter the educational environment of the classroom. For students this new device and their teacher’s new behavior in relation to it would serve as a major shift in classroom culture, one that possibly helped or deterred their progress in that room.

All changes demand responses, but in the educational world each response is an exponential one where the changes made by a teacher require a minute response from every student. From an initial responses comes a multitude of additional adjustments.

Maintaining this idea of the “first chalkboard” let’s consider how the student population responded. In a pre-chalkboard classroom the students would likely learn through a teacher’s vocal presentation. A chalkboard (or any board for text display) suddenly added a visual dimension to the class that altered the presentation of material. With the chalk board came a new visual dimension, now the investment of attention was altered and shifted from the teacher as primary focus to this new device and understanding its role as tool to learning. Even a minute supplementation of the chalk board would change the student experience in the classroom. For some students this additional dynamic was a positive change, providing a supplemental that aided understanding; and yet for others the supplement delivered a negative change creating confusion and a reduction in learning.

Classrooms are changing landscapes. We often look to the contemporary classroom as a place of changing tides, a location preserved in ice for decades but suddenly melting down under the heat of new technology. Technology integration is a hot topic in education. Experts exist on both sides of the issue: while some assert the need for providing universal access to technology others voice concerns about an over-dependence on technology and movement away from the “tried and true” formats of old. For some, theses concerns are less fears about technology and and more nostalgia for the past and the forms from personal experience.

The debate of technology integration gradually loses its validity as the students bring technology into the classroom. The most powerful force of tech integration is coming in the form of mobile devices and the dawning era of social networking. What began as tools of information access and communication and quickly becoming critical access points to friends and family. With this change the integration of technology becomes automatic and beyond a school’s control.

As technology begins to take on a greater role in the classroom we must consider the liquid state of the classroom. We cannot subscribe to a notion that the classroom has been frozen through history. Educators enter the classroom as citizens and figures tasked with preparing students for the future. Sir Ken Robinson has spoken on the impossibility of this task. In the end, teachers will strive to work more efficiently and will implement anything that makes their work easier. In short, all technology that assists the educator will find a place in the classroom. Such tech can come in the form of the PC of the chalkboard- anything that helps will find its place.

Whether technology comes in the form of a chalkboard, better markers or a powerful PC, all quality tools enter the classroom and the lives of the students placed therein. From these adjustment comes the requirement to respond. Both teachers and students need to be prepared for technological development. Likewise the society from which these teachers and students function is better served by an awareness that the classroom is a changing place and any resistance to technology or protectionism of “the way things were” does little to assist in student learning.

  1. January 25, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    Everyone always prepare one of the most intriguing content. So you continually often receive bad/boring issues along with flip these towards exciting/interesting items. I’m the audience for a lifetime!


  2. teachertalesblog
    January 16, 2011 at 11:50 PM

    I love your analogy of the class as a landscape preserved on ice and technology as the agent that thaws and leaves the boundaries wavering and uncertain yet technology horizons are limitless and should be embraced by educators instead of shunned. I completely agree with you.


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