This Article is About
Multiple Metaphors - The Promise And Perils Of Technology In Science
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

What are your views on 'educational technology'?

If there was ever a potential oxymoron, or a phrase to strike cheer or terror into the heart of a teacher, one of the nominees would surely be educational technology.

Depending on the strength of your historical or mythological understandings, technology may have the potential of Aladdin's lamp, the promise of Tutankhamun's tomb or the perils of Pandora's box! But technology is neither a magic remedy to all our ills, the realisation of golden splendour nor the residency of all the world's evils. It is somewhere in the middle.

Few tools have had the potential to create such polarity amongst teachers. Technology is loved or hated, over-utilised or underwhelming. Problems with technology are viewed either as a normal part of using a complex tool or a conspiracy designed to strike at our weakest moments with our most difficult classes.

Technology can certainly provide teachers with a relevant delivery mechanism and an elegant resource. Powerpoint slide shows can demonstrate how students can organise notes into a series of key words or phrases. They can display animations of processes too small (atomic level) or too large (astronomic level) for students to see in laboratories. They can be used to interact with the material in a way not easily replicated on either a white board, chalkboard or over head projector.

Spreadsheets can quickly and easily demonstrate the difference between displaying a set of data in a line graph format or a histogram format, allowing a purposeful discussion of the difference between continuous and discontinuous data to occur.

Palm pilots can group students in a problem solving quartet that gives them real time information and sharing as they move around their school in a virtual learning space.

Mobile phones offer even greater promise; the ubiquitous technology all students have and all schools want students to have. The apps are getting better, the platforms less distinct and the comfort levels with this type of technology are already sky-high. Why then have mobile phones not become the teacher's favourite tool. Why instead do most teachers insist that students put their mobile phones away?

Sometimes the things we most dislike ar ethe things we dislike about ourselves. HOw distracting do we find our own mobile phones? How often do we use them 'inappropriately' (eg while driving, sitting in a restaurant, cinema or theatre or even during a lecture or professional development session)? Is this why we are reluctant to have our students take out their mobile phones in our classrooms?

We make plenty of gender jokes about multi-tasking but perhaps our latest mini-evolutionary advance is the ability to multi-task. Perhaps we are becoming a society that can talk and text, walk and read a gps, drive and reset the favourites playlist? Perhaps.

Or perhaps as teachers, one of the many roles we now have, whether we like it or deserve it or not, is to teach students about the responsible use of technology and about their own ability to multitask, before one of them runs a car off the road while texting a friend.

Schools have always been a place where the hidden curriculum is more important than the actual curriculum. Responsible use of the modern educational technology tools is just another arena where the world is looking to teachers to lead the next generation. Are we up for the challenge?

Street Talk

No comments present
You May Also Like
Improve Grades With Assistance Of English, Physics And A Level Tutors
Worried about your child’s grades at school? Then private tuition is the best solution for you to enhance the grades of your child. When you hire a private tutor for your child, it means you invest in an individual tutor who gives the full attention to your child and meets…
By: Muhammad Mazhar in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Mar 14, 2016  
  Likes: 0

Web 2 - What Impact Has it Had on Science Teaching?
Why does technology often make you feel like there is a big conspiracy and you are the last one to know? Terms like Web 2.0 are thrown around with such abandon that they are just as likely to be incorporated into the name of a very familiar product without us…
By:  in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Mar 28, 2011  
  Likes: 0

Prelims for A Technical Career In Pharmacy World
There are many students who intend to pursue a career in the medicinal world without actually being a pharmacist. They want to take care of people’s health by indulging into some other aspects of pharmacy that principally requires technical knowledge and abilities. If you are also among those aspirants who…
By: Harry Millers in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Apr 26, 2014  
  Likes: 3

A Problem Shared is A Problem Halved - How to Improve Your Powerpoint Slide Show Science Lessons
I've written previously about the impact of presentations in Science lessons and lamented to excuse of technology for poor pedagogy. The reality is many of our teaching colleagues are using powerpoint to teach their classes, so how can we improve our use of this ubiquitous tool? Let me say firstly…
By:  in  Reference and Education  >  Science   May 12, 2011  
  Likes: 0

One Day Science Fair Projects Make Educational Middle School Homework Assignments
When you see the words "science fair projects" it is easy to think you are talking about the school gym filled with kids, parents and display boards full of pictures and graphs. But one day science fair projects can also be used as middle school homework assignments for science concepts…
By: Sue Gnagy Fegan in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Apr 13, 2011  
  Likes: 0

Easy Science Experiments for Kids Make for Great Fun at Home
Easy science experiments for kids to do at home can help make science fun and show kids and their families that science is really about what you see and experience every day. People are using scientific principles to solve problems all the time, and often do not realize it. Learning…
By: Sue Gnagy Fegan in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Apr 11, 2011  
  Likes: 2

The Need for Professional Development for Nurses In Australia
Today, there are so many complex developments and advancements in medical technology and the healthcare industry that medical professionals can never consider their learning is finished. To keep themselves abreast of the latest techniques they must necessarily keep attending workshops, medical conferences and undertake courses in professional development. Reading medical…
By: georgescifo in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Apr 18, 2012  
  Likes: 0

Science Experiments for Middle School Make Science Fairs More Fun
A middle school science fair can be a fun and interesting event for both students and parents.  Parents are generally pretty amazed at how in-depth science experiments for middle school can be and how many different ideas that are covered. Some of the concepts that are displayed and being demonstrated…
By: Sue Gnagy Fegan in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Mar 11, 2011  
  Likes: 0

Parabolic Solar Collector Making Concept
This article offers an illustrated description of a method to produce a closed parabolic trough solar energy collector box based on the elasticity of the material. What is described here is basically a manual method to make high efficiency solar collectors against very low cost, which is particularly suited for…
By: Moriala Putula in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Jul 10, 2015  
  Likes: 0

Where Einstein And Modern Physicists Fudged Up Or What the Aliens Know That Our Scientists Do Not! Part VI Black Holes Full Of Worm Holes?
In 1916 when Einstein first published his General Theory of Relativity there was a Prussian Officer, Karl Schwarzschild, a former math teacher in Germany who immediately produced an equation that showed a mass could be so dense as to never let light escape a certain critical radius. Today this radius…
By: Franklin N Williams in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Nov 17, 2011  
  Likes: 0

Where Einstein And Modern Physicists Fudged Up Or What the Aliens Know That Our Scientists Do Not
The first thing that the aliens know, if there are intergalactic aliens, is that traveling at the speed of light and greater is not only possible, but common place for them and secondly, one does not travel into the past when exceeding the speed of light. How is this possible…
By: Franklin N Williams in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Sep 02, 2011  
  Likes: 1

Excel-lence In Science Education
Looking for a new way to help your students achieve EXCELlence in Science? Look no further than Excel as a great way to help students understand trends, graphs and mathematical relationships. I know we want stduents to learn how to draw graphs, understand x and y axes, explain lines of…
By:  in  Reference and Education  >  Science   May 07, 2011  
  Likes: 0

Effective Multidisciplinary Cohesion
Technology is big business in Education. Laptops, data shows, interactive whiteboards and hand held data devices are becoming increasingly common in schools across the globe. The progress is inevitable, but not equitable and in many cases the technology is lying idle as teachers with limited technological expertise and/or interest struggle…
By:  in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Mar 16, 2011  
  Likes: 0

Because of Einstein’s theory of relativity we have been told that nothing can go faster than light and his equation E=mc^2 will cause mass to increase infinitely as it approaches the speed of light. While any physicist will tell you this is true it is strictly a mathematical concept and…
By: Franklin N Williams in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Mar 07, 2012  
  Likes: 1

Mobile Games for Science - the Current State Of Play
Warren Beatty is quoted as saying: “You've achieved success in your field when you don't know whether what you're doing is work or play”. Education technology has come a long way as software and hardware manufacturers continually strive for a competitive edge. The growth in sophistication within the PC gaming…
By:  in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Mar 22, 2011  
  Likes: 0

Article Views: 1958    Report this Article