Thoughts on Cuban
What do you make of Cuban’s definition of useful educational technology?
Historically, I feel that Cuban's definition of educational technology is spot on. From the early foundations of education, teachers have made creative use of the resources available to them in order to provide a more meaningful education for their pupils. Before formal schooling, students were taught trades at home or through apprenticeships. You can be sure that the education was not done strictly by lecturing. In order to teach someone to farm, they would be taken out in the fields and shown the tools and methods to be a successful farmer. Early scholars relied heavily on memorization. While memorization was a key tool in learning through much of human history, teachers and pupils eventually learned that using the written word to record information was also valuable in learning, leading to the advent of scrolls and books recording what was known about the world.
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.
I'm Edie - wife, mom, instructional designer,online instructor, home renovator,
and lover of nature, travel, technology, and vintage campers!