The topic I would like to explore at THATCamp is the use of technology in a pedagogical setting. It has been established that technology can enhance learning, but is it, in the 21st century, necessary for learning environments? My question stems from recent discussions (see Cathy N. Davidson, Now You See It, for example) of adapting the classroom to 21st century needs, versus the in-place 19th century paradigm that is still prevalent in primary schools through higher education. If it is true that the use of technology enhances student learning in the contemporary classroom, we must still ask questions about its implementation, its overall usefulness, desired outcomes, and effectiveness. We must also consider issues of generational divides, instructor preparedness, instructor creativity, and assessment. In other words, we are at the point in our understanding of classroom pedagogy of knowing the importance of technology as part of gaining sufficient knowledge, which powers and inspires us to incorporate it in our classrooms. But our sufficient knowledge of its usefulness does not actually create a necessity.
What is “necessary” technology? And how do we find the resources, both human and financial, to support this technological revolution in our own classrooms. Is an entirely new pedagogy necessary? It is frequently a policy of technophiles to assume that technology will enhance the classroom. However, it is only through conscious reflection on the application, usefulness, and desired results of its implementation that technology will achieve its objective of enhancing learning.
Once we move from our infatuation with new technologies, and after trial-and-error experimentation in educational settings, it is necessary to have a fully-developed philosophy and justification for its use in education. Where does the move from “sufficient” to “necessary” occur? These are some of the questions that intrigue me, and that I would like to explore in this session.