… is that we keep talking about technical features and not benefits. Sure, we’re on the cutting edge of modern technology; Millenials can’t remember a time without computers and cell phones. But it often seems that we are so fascinated by what it is (8 gig i-pod©, a ‘Smartboard©’, Twitter©, a Linksys© router, a Blackberry Curve© with e-mail and internet access, etc.) that we forget about what it does.
It’s especially true for tech educators. Programs at tech conventions are full of features. (Digital storytelling, Inspiration© software, Facebook©, Myspace©, Quia©, Teachertube©, etc.)
Until we begin to talk about the benefits of technology, we are less able to teach each other. A laptop example comes to mind. Schools around the state have adopted laptop programs. Did the “sale” relate to the big benefits to students, that almost no question could not be answered? Or that the traditional role of teacher as fount of knowledge might shift powerfully to student-centered collaboration? Answers 24/7?; MS Word docs that help a student edit their words for specific audiences and improve writing?; a GPS system that helps our students really learn South Dakota geography?
Should the technologies used in classrooms be stated in terms of benefits to learners?