In an excellent article by Anna Johannsen (2017) she attempts to "debunk" the myths that are offered by the raving critics of technology and learning in 21st Century Learning. She outlines these points as follows:
1. Social Limitations: The fear of technology stealing the potential of social interaction is a fear that critics voice regularly. The rationale that must be adopted is that depending on how the technology is used in the classroom environment the technology can have both a positive and negative effect on social interaction. But, technology can improve communication and enhance interactions in a positive and constructive manner if guided correctly.
2. Distractions: The fear here is that technology will be a distraction to the educational process. Once again, this could be a reality if the classroom process is not constructive. But, as Johannsen points out: "Anyone who’s been in a classroom knows that anything is a potential distraction, whether it’s writing notes on a sheet or paper or sending a text message. Technology doesn’t make the classroom any more distracting than it already is."
3. Stifling of cognitive development: The fear of being overly dependent on technology creates a deterioration of cognitive functioning is questionable. While attempts to research this idea are possible it clouds the reality that we live in a world where everything we interact with is influenced or originates with technology. To assume this is only a classroom issue is naive and learning to live with as opposed to avoiding it must be our role.
4. Test score effects. From previous posts readers can identify of my disregard for standardized testing as it exists currently. If we allow testing to be the only evaluative measure that promotes learning then we are limiting what true future learning is all about. "Standardized tests don’t evaluate technological proficiency, nor can they accurately measure a child’s potential in different future career paths. Instead, they’re overly generalized, and schools with the highest test scores tend to be the ones focused exclusively on achieving those test scores (rather than preparing students for college, careers, or life in general)." (Johannsen, 2017)
5. Technology is expensive: In promoting techology in a one-to-one program the reality of expense is quite real. But, innovative funding programs that place laptops or tablets in the hands of students becomes affordable more and more.
These fears are most important to deal with as 21st Century School Leaders. What is worth fighting for is what makes the battle worthwhile.
JOHANSSON, A. (2017, May 05). Debunked: 5 myths about classroom technology. Retrieved October 27, 2017, from https://www.eschoolnews.com/2017/05/08/myths-classroom-technology/)