“Simply adding technology to K-12 classrooms doesn’t necessarily improve learning. What matters most is how teachers and students develop knowledge and skills.” (Zucker and Light, 2009)
When I came across this quote in Pinterest, I couldn’t help but nod frantically at the screen. I keep reading and listening to people talking about incorporating technology at schools. Granted, it is a valid goal. After all, kids will live (and are living) in a world permeated by technology and they need to learn how to use it wisely and effectively. But I keep thinking that the focus is not put where it should be: on the skills they will need, rather that on the elements they will use. Since I am kind of in the “quote” mood, I’ll resort to another one that I think truly expresses what I am trying to say. Perry Marshall very wisely stated”No one who ever bought a drill wanted a drill. They wanted a hole” We should not be teaching our students to use a computer for the mere sake of using it, but rather teach them to use technology to suit their needs and purposes.
I have posted about collaboration before, one of the skills many authors have come to call the “21st century skills”. These are the necessary competences students need to develop in order to successfully interact in this world. These skills include the “Four ‘C’ Skills:” critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity and innovation.
Technology provides us with numerous ways to foster the development of these skills. But what we need to keep in mind (and what I need to keep in mind, too) is that technology is just a means to an end.