Friday, September 26, 2008

Topic: Technology

10-second review: Technology’s use in the classroom is not centered on the technology itself, but on its uses in teaching English more effectively.

Title: “It’s Not about the Technology.” Carla Beard. Council Chronicle (September 2008), 32. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Quote: “Noted educator David Warwick says it best: ‘The most important thing to remember about technology in our classroom is that it is not about technology…. The technology comes along because it has become the pen and paper, light and sound, of the twenty-first century.”

Comment: It’s not the technology itself, but its usefulness in teaching English. Couldn’t have said it better.

That’s the reason, back in the early 1980’s, that I rejected the most sophisticated—and expensive—word processing program developed by IBM, for a much simpler version that allowed students to add, delete, substitute, move and spell-check text almost without thinking, as staff and students learned how to use the word processor in writing instruction.

The most sophisticated word processing program might have been able to do more sophisticated things with print, but the simple program enabled staff and students to use it in learning to write. I had seen so many people discouraged by learning the sophisticated word processor, requiring concentration on how the word processor worked, that I knew my purpose needed to be to use the word processor to write almost without thinking in using its basic features. Boy, was I ever criticized for making that decision—but not by the staff or students. They appreciated its ease of use.

The purpose of this blog, English Updates, is to review interesting contemporary (2008-2009) articles from professional English education journals at all levels—elementary, middle school, junior high school, high school and college.

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