Thoughts on Cuban
What do you make of Cuban’s definition of useful educational technology?
" . . . any device available to teachers for use in instructing students in a more efficient and stimulating manner than the sole use of the teachers’ voice" (p. 4)
Cuban's definition would also fit the current views towards educational technology, specificially when you focus on the keys words "efficient" and "stimulating". Pencil and paper are rarely the most efficient and stimulating ways to teach students in the 21st century classroom. We as educators now need to focus on finding the tools to engage students who are used to instant gratification and an entertainment centered culture. In addition, they may not be as motivated to learn as previous generations. Anything they want to know is at their fingertips in the form of smartphones and the internet, so the idea of memorizing and interalizing information may seem illogical to many students. In order to reach these students, we need to be engaging and challenge the students intellectually, a task made easier by the effective use of technology in our classes. For example, my 4th graders started blogging this year. In their blogs, they reflect upon the ideas learned in our science class that week. In previous years, this would have taken place in their science notebooks. By simply changing the method through which the students presented their ideas, I was able to elicit more thoughtful responses and allow for students to go above and beyond the normal requirements. Normally, the students would write their response and be done. Now, with the blogs, students are searching out pictures and videos to add to their posts, spend more time editting since they will be reading and commenting on each other's posts, and are genuinely more invested in the activity than when the response was written in a notebook.