Is there a problem with Tech and Teaching?

Yesterday I came across this blog and basically it made me think a bit… and I refer to one of the previous comments for the post dealing with digital portfolio. What this blog said that in reality, even when technology influx in school was very low there were always other priorities which were missing… the tattered state of text books for example, the pitiful state of labs, and we always blamed the lack of funding, the lack of support. And yet I think that this is not the issue. Again we’re missing the wood for the trees here. We are teachers, we are professionals, then let us get down to doing our jobs as professionals without complaints. It seems that as students we go through our lives complaining… too much work we say, too much to study, no time to enjoy the weekend. Then we start teaching and we complain. There is always time and reason to complain. I don’t know how many of you have ever worked with private companies or industry. There, if you complain, then you either grit your teeth, smile and carry on or else you pack up and find yourself another job… if you find one that is. In teaching, it seems that complaints come in plenty. I hear a lot of complaints, about students, about the school, about timetables, and now about technologies. I am not saying all this is easy. Life is not easy at all. If you want an easy life, then you can stay at home and do nothing. Technology nowadays does not need specialised equipment which costs a lot of money. Technology and learning nowadays is not constrained to the classroom. As you yourself can see from this course, we had one face-to-face session and I am sure that many of you left the classroom with a lot of questions, confused and even complaining :). However I invite you that every time you complain you try and identify a solution. A practical solution. The problem is not the technology. The problem is not “Oh what shall I do if they don’t teach me how to use an e-Learning platform”.??!! The problem lies in the fact that you should have enough self confidence as a teacher, as a professional – that you believe enough in yourself and your capabilities, that you can experiment on your own and that finally you use your creativity to invent new ways to teach without “being told” what to do and how to do it.

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64 thoughts on “Is there a problem with Tech and Teaching?

  1. Its is true that today we are living in an era where technology is important, and therefore, we as future teacher must constantly be engaged in this new system. However, one must also not under estimate the importance of the “old fashion” system. Even though technology is important it should not replace the human element. Technology is a tool and should remain likewise. Therefore, we as future teachers should 1) be aware of the latest technology that might be useful for teaching, 2) understand the importance of technology in today’s life, 3) make sure that adequate training is provided so that every teacher knows how to make use of the latest technology and finally 4) identify that any form of technology is a tool for making teachers’ life easier 🙂

    • Sometimes we complain because we are afraid of new technologies, new situations, we are stressed and angry with someone, due to the circumstances that occur. Here students and teachers complaints were mentioned. What about parents’ complaints? I think that parents complaints in fact might result in both students, teachers and all the school staff to complain about the same thing in different views!TeacherComplaints.com is geared towards parents and students to compare and complain about teachers, homework, discipline and classroom behaviour.

      Questions like: Do you feel that your child is treated unfairly in class? Do you feel that your child gets too much home work? Do you feel that your teacher doesn’t understand your child? Do you feel that the school staff could care less about your problems, feel neglected? Here, one can give an in depth report of how a school and teacher uses his/ her classroom and how they treat you as a parent and student. I encourage everyone to check this site and see the benefits and limitations.

  2. I agree with what you have written in the sense that many times we complain with the use of technology because we are afraid of something new. In comparison, this is like someone learning to swim. S/he can have many courses on how to set strokes in the sea or how to remain afloat but the real issue comes when s/he dives into the sea. In using technology it is exactly the same. You can have multiple courses on how to use a certain programme or software but you learn best when you teach yourself. We cannot wait for the others to the work for us. We must remember that the kids we are going to teach in class are a pace in advance when it comes to technology so it is better to try out yourself and there is no big deal if you do a mistake; just try again. Unfortunately we were brought in an age when mistakes were punishable, sometimes to an imaginable degree. We have to move from this idea and maybe we can learn from our children in front of us. You can have a look at this link to understand better at what am I trying to say: http://www.mactrast.com/2011/11/ipads-motivate-students-to-learn-improve-the-education-experience/

  3. Technology helps a lot because it had developed a lot during the years and it is a good tool that one should use. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFwWWsz_X9s&feature=related It can make you save a lot of time and money because with just one click you get all the information you want. It also provides blogs that can help you get to know other people that are interested or experts in your area and they can give you a lot of information on the area you need.
    But are we taking some things for granted? What about creativity? It’s true that with the introduction of the interactive whiteboards in our schools we have an open portal in class that can take us wherever we want, but at the same time not all the students will get the chance to use it in one session. If you have a large group in class, this difficulty will arise automatically. So what can the teacher do?
    The teacher should encourage the students to explore everything that exists in the world, to be creative and innovative not only by using technology but also by doing other things that bring your imagination to life. The teacher should encourage using everything that can help you learn because everything is important. All the subjects that student studies, even the non-academic ones, will give the student the possibility to grow and to form his or her path. http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=deGoli4p4k4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGY2cwWC8Ag&feature=related if we use resource that we have than that is going to be good learning. Everything is important not only technology.
    Therefore I’m not saying that a teacher shouldn’t know how to use technology but, this same teacher should also keep in mind that the students need to express themselves and to be creative.

  4. It is true that several maltese teachers complained about the introduction of several technological tools to be used by educators. I think that to a certain extent, this is quite a normal reaction, I mean many people are afraid of change. It is much easier to continue working as you used to do since you need to make an effort in order to adapt to change..this, I believe is very natural. For example, when we as PGCE students were introduced to the interactive whiteboard, some of us were concerned (we were a bit afraid to use it) but then we experimented with its use and we became quite confident using it in class. It is the challenge that make people (in this case educators) become better and more adaptable. It could be that some changes and technologies were introduced at a fast pace and many teachers were afraid that using these new tools would be difficult (or even impossible, especially for teachers who are relatively advanced in age). However I think that in reality, most teachers have acceppted new technological tools with enthusiasm. During my teaching practice I never heard a teacher complain about introduction of technologies…on the contrary, all of the teachers I knew used resources such as interactive whiteboards regularly, and not only the young teachers. I believe that we have to make it clear to those afraid of technology, that it does’nt take much to learn how to use these tools, and once they try, they will find these tools very useful. We have to keep in mind that students are becoming more technological and teachers cannot lag behind. Necessity is the mother of invention…..it is inevitable that new tech tools are introduced to cater for the increasingly technological generations.

    • I think that’s encouraging to hear and I hope that more and more teachers will take up to the challenge and really start not just using technology because it is a must, but because it becomes a need for them to teach creatively… effectively… Teaching is not just a job which one does to get paid at the end of the day.

  5. I believe that we, as teachers, should find a balance between technology and the “old fashion” system. We all studied methodology and we are aware of the various learning styles that exists. Some are better than others in certain ways and vice-versa. At the end of the day, the student must find his/her style of learning. The teacher has the role to teach the student how to learn (rather than the content of the subject) and the student must learn how to learn.

    He/she can make use of technology, books, games, whatever helps him/her to learn. I have to point out that not all students are lucky to have a computer at home or an access to internet. We must not take it for granted that technology is available to all students. That’s why a balance is required in order to reach all the students’ needs.

    • “Maybe not all students have access to Computers or the Internet”. I think that that is one of the things which would be important to establish at the beginning of your teaching to gauge what sort of activities can be done with the different classes. Not every class is the same. Remember that a class is made up of different individuals, and you cannot use a one size fits all system.

  6. I agree with what you have written in the sense that many times we complain with the use of technology because we are afraid of something new. In comparison, this is like someone learning to swim. S/he can have many courses on how to set strokes in the sea or how to remain afloat but the real issue comes when s/he dives into the sea. In using technology it is exactly the same. You can have multiple courses on how to use a certain programme or software but you learn best when you teach yourself. We cannot wait for the others to do the work for us. We must remember that the students we are going to teach in class are a pace in advance when it comes to technology so it is to our interest to try out ourselves and there is no big deal if we do a mistake; just try again. Unfortunately we were brought in an age when mistakes were punishable sometimes to an unimaginable degree. We have to move away from this idea and maybe we can learn from our children in front of us. You can have a look at this link to understand better what I am trying to say: http://www.mactrast.com/2011/11/ipads-motivate-students-to-learn-improve-the-education-experience/

  7. Technology in education evolved in various ways, but each stage was a success to those times. From the simple drawings on stones and papers, to the processing of online information, every individual who was motivated to learn, did so. Although the means of learning are fundamental, one’s motivation is more important. Still, every teacher must adapt to the present time, and we must seek to answer to this question: …how are you going to shape the classrooms of tomorrow?

    Being professionals, teachers can create anything from nothing. Creativity is one of the main concept of being a teacher. One can have anything in a school, and lessons may be boring and without motivation. Others may have limited resources, but they will do the best lessons. During my teaching practice I had no technology involved in lessons. There were no interactive whiteboards in classrooms, and still the lessons were a success. This concludes that creativity and self-confidence are indeed important in a teacher’s DNA. Still, I must agree that technology helps a lot nowadays, as sometimes it motivates students more as they get involved and would like to participate. Teachers must use technology every now and then, as we need to enter in the students’ technological world. But we, as future teachers must be prepared that in the modern world, we use also parts of the “old fashion” teaching style.

  8. Naqbel ħafna ma’ dak li ntqal iktar ’il fuq illi meta l-istudenti jarawna jew iqisuna bħala l-għalliema tagħhom, irridu nżommu f’moħħna li huma qed jarawna b’lenti ta’ nies professjonali u mudell għalihom. Albert Bandura jitkellem fuq dan l-aspett fejn l-istudenti jitgħallmu mill-osservazzjoni ta’ dak li jaraw; l-azzjonijiet tal-għalliem huma r-riflessjonijiet ta’ għada. Avolja kultant l-għalliema jgergru żżejjed fuq il-professjoni tagħhom, dan mhux qed jagħmel ġid. Dan għaliex quddiemna għandna bnedmin li se jkunu l-futur ta’ għada u għalhekk irridu noffrulhom l-aħjar edukazzjoni, l-aħjar tagħlim.

    It-teknoloġija hija l-passaġġ usa’ mingħajr limiti. Xi kultant, lili kienet tiġrili ħafna, kont insaqsi lili nnifsi u nevalwa jekk l-istudenti telqux mill-klassi b’xi ħaġa. Kont ngħid, “Tgħid ilħaqt lil kulħadd b’dak li preżentajt? jew Kont kreattiv biżżejjed fil-lezzjoni biex nagħti togħma ġdida ta’ lezzjoni?” Ħafna mill-għalliema jgergru bl-użu tat-teknoloġija għax nibiżgħu mill-ġdid jew aħjar mill-avvanz. Imma m’għandux ikun hekk. Irridu nagħtu lill-istudent l-għala jiġi għal-lezzjoni. Irridu nippreżentaw lezzjonijiet motivanti, kreattivi u b’għodda li jużaw huma regolari. Ma nistgħux ninsew li l-istudent imur id-dar u jorqod bil-kompjuter u mbagħad jiġi l-iskola u ma nużawhx.

    Madanakollu, it-teknoloġija ma tridx tegħleb lill-għalliem fil-klassi imma l-istess għalliem irid jużaha biex joħloq modi ġodda ta’ tagħlim għall-istudent. F’din il-link preżentata hawnhekk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1YQQhkeoJk, turi l-importanza tat-teknoloġija fil-ħajja skolastika tat-tfal u jqisuha bħala opportunità għat-tfal biex jitgħallmu lil hinn mill-iskola li jgħinhom jippreparaw ruħhom għall-futur. Ħa nkunu l-mudelli ta’ dawn il-bidliet fl-edukazzjoni tat-tfal li huma l-ġenereazzjoni ta’ għada? L-għażla f’idejk!

  9. As David said before me, fortunately enough I was lucky to meet teachers who did their utmost to teach their students using all the resources available- some feeling better accustomed to technology than others. But that is only natural and I believe students appreciate this variability/diversity between their teachers. If everybody was using technology-based resources all the time without other hands-on experiences it would end up in a similar viscous cycle. I was fortunate enough that in working with the private sector I never had to ‘grit my teeth, smile and move on’. It is true that it was only rarely that I complained, but when I did so I was offered support immediately. Teachers do not need someone to ‘hold their hand’ but someone they could easily turn to when problems are encountered. And this is very often difficult to find as unfortunately in our competitive society teamwork is still in its infancy. And teamwork cannot be imposed on an already breaking system.

    • I agree absolutely… and once again it is encouraging to hear about enthusiastic teachers. I am very glad to be able to listen to your voices in this respect, as I am not too sure that I would have had the possibility in a face-to-face classroom. So once again I repeat I am glad that some of you had the opportunity to look at good practices… I wish that the majority… that all of you would have that opportunity.
      I also agree with the fact that there needs to be diversity, and I would like to emphasise that I believe that technology is not the only solution to all the world’s problems… or at least to the problems which Education faces. Technology is not just a buzz word. Tools and resources can be various, and just as effective. Technology shouldn’t be imposed on anyone, as you rightly pointed out but it should be taken up by people in the same way as it has pervasively made its way into our lives and into our homes – just look at how dependent we have become on mobile phones. I am sure that this will be so, and I am sure that if people are willing, then this shift will be facilitated.

  10. This week, we heard about the amazing ibooks textbooks which the Apple introduced: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6HeyTldraw. It’s amazing! Surely students will enjoy studying, be more motivated and learn effectively! Students love technology, and they use it. Why don’t we use it as well in our classrooms and in our lives?! We are living in the 21st century. Albert Einstein said: “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.” We are continuously being introduced by many different gadgets. We can learn to use technology in order to understand more our students and use them in the classroom as well. Although we are aspiring to become teachers, we still need to learn more, to be educated…There is no need to be afraid of technology. Once you learn it, you will love it too, just as the students love it. You would also see the benefits of technology especially when it is used for teaching and learning . Teaching is best when one uses technology. There are three aspects by which students learn: verbal, visual and concrete. Technology makes these three aspects possibly shown together as they relate with each other. Students want to be engaged. If we truly want that education be student-centred, we need to put ourselves in their shoes, use technology as they use it in their lives (and if some of them don’t – would have the opportunity to use it as well just as their friends do) and engage them, give them the opportunity to be challenged, to acquire knowledge by themselves, and to be involved in their own learning. Let us listen to their plead and engage them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZokqjjIy77Y.

  11. I do agree that technology should be used in schools and education, personally during teaching practice I wouldn’t have managed without it. However I don’t 100% agree with Abgail’s comment “Teaching is best when one uses technology”. I think teachers must use the best resource which will help their students learn effectively. As mentioned above “Technology must be used when it becomes a NEED and not because others are using it; so I MUST use it”. The emphasis here is to use technology effectively so that new opportunities for learning are created and student’s achievement is promoted. Educational technology must not be seen as transformative on its own. It requires the assistance of educators who integrate technology into the curriculum, align it with student learning goals, and use it for engaged learning projects. When technology is effectively integrated into subject areas it helps make teaching and learning more meaningful and fun.

  12. I agree that teachers should be creative and innovative in their way of teaching and be updated on what it is happening around especially in the field of technology. The latter is important not only as a tool to promote interaction and motivate students, but also as David had said that the students are becoming technological. One can even say that it had become part of their lives and a means to express themselves. As others had said teachers should teach themselves and experiment in the use of technology. Meanwhile it is important that the teacher efforts are supported as the blog The problem with tech and teaching stated- “respect them & support them”. It is important to have a supportive infrastructure where teachers can attend courses to keep up to date and that funds are available for such resources.

  13. Having Computing as my subject makes technology a must! 🙂 I can’t imagine myself teaching theory only without hands on approach! That’s suicidal!

    However, during my TP, I encountered difficult situations with students even if I am teaching ICT!! ICT does not have a WOW factor any longer. Students find it boring and unwilling to learn! I do not blame them because what we are doing in ICT is teaching the students a product (ECDL) instead of basic ICT concepts. I did not need ECDL to learn Word and Excel! Everyone can learn them on their own through projects given by other subjects across the curriculum!

    As we discussed in the computing group, ICT lessons would be more interesting if we could introduce robotics. Through robotics, students can learn basic programming concepts, Maths and also some basic Physics concepts! 3 in 1! Not bad at all!!

    I believe that certain subjects can be united through ICT and technology and provide interesting challenges to our students like the example given above.

    • Yes – definitely… and in reality, even if you have to teach what is written in a syllabus, noone tells you how to teach it. I think that you can creatively manipulate the information given in the syllabi to invent new ways to reinvent the teaching of subjects, topics and content. Finding tools, applications and packages that can help your learners achieve target objectives, is an important direction to take in your teaching.

      • Unfortunately, the current syllabus DOES NOT let us be creative in our delivery methods as you are suggesting! ICT syllabi designed with regard to the NCF are dictating what should be done lesson by lesson!! I fear that teachers will be risking their job by doing new/creative things due to parents pressures!

        Another point which I missed out in the previous post is, why did we stick with ECDL in ICT? Why are we teaching products which cost money like Microsoft Office instead of free software like OpenOffice or Google Docs? I do not believe this is inclusive education at all! Everything is wrong in ICT! I just hope that it will be revised as soon as possible!

      • Agreed… and I think you should really push this point with the people from the Division. This is not causing trouble… but you, more than anyone else, are the persons who actually teach your learners and therefore noone more than yourselves know your learners’ requirements. This is not easy and I am aware of it but try to find solutions to overcome these problems. Let noone tell you exactly what to teach and how to teach it – do your best to contribute towards together moving towards a teaching which is collaborative. Discuss with your peers and with your superiors.

  14. I agree that we left the classroom with a lot of uncertainties and questions, but I think that this time the complains were mostly about not having enough time to do what we were asked to do. However, I am sure that it will be a welcoming new experience from which we will learn a lot. It’s a question of being creative and experimenting.

  15. I’m not sure whether a previous post can be deleted, so I will write another post as I have just realised that there is a spelling mistake…it’s meant to be complaints not complains…

  16. Having taught online in various platforms, F2F, and blended approaches, I can understand the various points of view included in the comments posted. I would only add one comment, related to the teaching of my fest friend and colleague Sivasailam Thiagarajan, aka Thiagi, and that is we all approach learning for ourselves based on our own preferential styles (adult learning theory etc.). What we should endeavor to do from an instructional design point of view is to provide a learning experience that is “just-in-time, just enough, and just for you (customized)”, at least that is the ideal. The same might be said of the instructor as well, except that for a good deal of time, both elementary and higher education have relied on lecture and the socratic method (and in many places still do), and it its days are over (or should be). We need to meet each each other where we can with what we have and make adjustments.

    • Yes I agree Andrew… there is no one recipe for this. Teaching, Learning, Education is a complex process which is heavily dependent on human nature. So every tool and every resource we make use of needs to take into consideration the dynamic nature of our relationships as these take form inside a classroom. I feel that we can never really tell someone how to teach a specific class. We can only give indications as to possible techniques, strategies, best practice that one can use. What one chooses to teach and to learn with is only up to oneself.

  17. I am totally aware that nowadays technology plays an important role in our life however one must not throw away the traditional methods of teaching. I believe that the teacher is the most important resource in the class and the outcome of the lesson depends greatly on the creativity and imagination of the teacher. And therefore once again a perfect lesson relies on how the teacher makes the lesson and not on what the teacher uses to make the lesson.

    • I believe that that is true for teachers who justify their complete lack of use of resources, saying that after all, it their presence as a teacher which counts for their students’ learning. Don’t get me wrong. A teacher’s personality, charisma and the way he/she uses words is very important. And I also want to say that someone can use a million resources but if that someone doesn’t have the vocation of teaching, the resources wouldn’t do much to alleviate the boredom of a lecture. However… and this is a big however – my belief is that a person who relies totally on himself/herself as the sole focus or input of knowledge in the classroom is making a huge mistake. The persons who happen to be in front of this teacher, are individuals with as much initiative outside the classroom as we have seldom seen in the past. And I think it would be another humongous mistake if you believe that you can motivate or engage your students by having an adorable personality. Your students are those same students who spend hours online – interacting – they don’t spend hours reading Wikipedia…and they don’t spend hours actually watching YouTube videos… but they spend hours posting something on Facebook… they spend hours to upload a video or more than one video to YouTube… they spend hours playing… and not playing Tetris or Pacman… although these seem to be gaining popularity. They play good strategy games which involve more than just shooting. These are the same games FBI are using to train their agents… and no – this is not a movie I am talking about. Forget watching CSI when you can somehow use just as many skills keeping your brain cells working… these are the same students who can very easily fall asleep in the middle of my lecture… if I decide to lecture them no matter how “sunny” my personality is and how passionate I get about the subject… So I would be rather careful when thinking that a teacher without tools, can reach the same depths as a teacher who uses the right tools in the right context.

  18. Using today’s technology and devices ensures us that we are engaging each and every student in order to push them toward their biggest potentials of problem-solving, learning and retention. Just as each student learns in a different way, so then, each type of student can be taught in a way that best taps the creative and inquiring mind. Students today want to use the latest gadgets. You can see this is true by watching them with their cellphones; texting, listening to music. Watch them with their iPads, accessing the Internet, playing games, or checking in on Facebook. All of this is today’s electronic age. I know how much important it is to use technology in class but for me it is not easy. For a reason or another I am not good in these things. I want to use technology in class but I need a lot of practice even for using the interactive whiteboard for example. Many say it is easy to use it. That’s not true, for me it is not easy.

    • I wonder if you ever read Marc Prensky…a few years back he very cleverly coined out terms that have become synonymous with today’s learners. There are a group of persons, especially those born after the 2000’s who have been indeed born in the technology era, and these are according to Prensky defined as Digital Natives…technology for them is almost inherent. Then there are those who he terms as Digital Immigrants. None of us, myself included, have been born into the technology era – hence we are immigrants in this technology era. Myself, being born in the 70’s remember the first few computers in the 1980s and I remember going to visit my cousin just to stare in awe at this huge machine he had, just to play a little bit of pacman. However even amongst those digital immigrants…there are those who might have taken up technology at an earlier stage and therefore had more time to gradually absorb it as part of their normal life practice… You will have to see it like this. After the war, when the first few refrigerators started making their way to the Maltese households they were looked at as alien devices. When the mobile devices started making their way in during the late 1990s they were also seen as something to be in awe of. However with time, and because people started feeling the need for both devices they have slowly made their way in our lives and now we can safely say that we would feel lost without either one of those two devices. So my advice is this… keep an open mind. Take it slowly but don’t give up. Don’t go inside a classroom and say I cannot do this. Remember that persistence is a virtue. Believe in this because this – technology – will help you in the end reach the students more through your teachings, and possibly influencing someone’s life in a positive way.

  19. Technology is great to have. We know that there are 95% of internet/computer users but we still need to caters for the other 5%. They should be our main focus.

    Without sounding anti-Apple, the video above is just a little marketing ploy from Apple to enter into the schools. So now we need to but an iPad for all students? Using e-books is not an Apple invention, PDF took care of that and so did Amazon. E-books should be produced for multiple platforms and not just fruity ones :-).

    About 6-7 years ago I was working in an area secondary and the Head wanted me to see if we could purchase cheap laptops costing not more than Lm100 (230 euro) so he could sell them to the students at around 46e uro a year starting from Form 1 and by the time the student is Form 5, the laptop would be his. He meant to do away with books and get all books in PDF or e-book format (PDF is not the only one). As far as costings to the Department it was estimated that it could run into thousands of saved monies. Needless to say, he was slammed for that idea.

    I am all for the widespread use of technology in and out of the classroom but our focus must rest on those 5% (possibly more if one does not trust surveys).

    What we need to do is to facilitate lessons in a very creative way that can be done with or without technology, I dare say that with today’s “digital natives”, technology bores them and they need to be exposed to the “kartoncin u lapes tal-kulur” technology as well – old technology was more hands-on

    • I wouldn’t generalise by saying “”kartoncin u lapes tal-kulur” technology as well – old technology was more hands-on” … I strongly believe though that if we use technology we need to have a definite purpose; a clear goal. For many children, kids, and learners of all ages, today, the tablets (whatever make) are their pencil and paper. What makes lessons boring, is the way the tools are used. For example, if I carry out a lesson using PowerPoint slides, I cannot really say I am using technology can I? I can say I am using a tool in a way which doesn’t involve anyone but me…I can also say that I am using a tool to complement a teacher-centred kind of activity. But I cannot say I am engaging my learners can I? To continue on your argument, in the same manner I can be creative enough to engage my learners in a way which doesn’t necessarily use digital tools. Of course this can be done. All I am saying is that to reach the level of activity and interactivity, which certain digital tools can allow, uses up a lot more effort, and a lot more resources. Sometimes this kind of effort is seen as too heavy a burden by many and the result is that many teachers rather than make such a huge effort revert to traditional approaches. What I am trying to point out, that today, all these tools can help you build resources through which you can ensure more engagement by the students because really, it is so much easier for them to interact using the online environment. Of course there is the argument of the 5%. That much is true but we can also provide additional support for students who do not have the facilities at home, to try some peer sharing or using the school’s own resources outside classroom hours. Thank you for your comments – I think they were quite insightful.

      • To consolidate Silvio’s argument, these guy managed to deliver computing lessons in a very interactive and interesting way without using a hint of technology! I tried one activity from their ideas and it really worked out! Technology is not THE answer in education…it’s just a part of the answer!

        http://csunplugged.org/

    • I’d like to highlight the argument raised by Silvio. Unfortunately, not all students have access to a computer at home or an access to internet. We rarely hear about such cases but that’s the reality! Without home access to the internet many pupils struggle to complete their homework and coursework and miss out on the benefits of online revision sites. The digital divide is having a truly damaging impact on children’s prospects and causing the most disadvantaged to fall further behind. Hence, a balance is required in order to reach ALL the students’ needs. My question is: What is actually being done to accommodate those children who do not have access to technology?

      • This doesn’t mean that all the rest of the people should be cut off from benefiting from this approach. First of all, for the really unfortunate people, working in groups, could mean that they could also visit each other’s homes to work together. Where this is not possible, schools have computer labs which students might use during break time. Some schools put together clubs and so on. In the community, each local council have got dedicated labs, with wifi, who anyone can use. If people really want to learn there are so many possibilities. This shouldn’t hinder or stop you. We are living in a society where a huge % has not only access to computers, but also to the Internet. Not using it for Education because people don’t have direct access at home, sounds very much like an excuse to me.

  20. I agree with the utmost importance that technology has in our lives today. But to make efficient use of this tool in our hands we must be clearly instructed (as after all we are being) of how to make good use of it as future teachers. And not only us, but even teachers of a certain age who have been teaching in the classroom for more than 25 years although these may be afraid to change their old style of teaching – they maybe afraid of something new – they maybe afraid of change as quite oftenly happens in society!!

    • I would be very careful with the term “clearly instructed” – what do you mean by that? Because the way I understand it would be that you would need step-by-step instructions of how to use tools. I think that being a professional means that you can definitely take learning into your own hands. If you really find a need to learn how to do something, including developing your professional career, then you have to be the one to take the initiative. If you feel that you should use certain tools in your classroom, do not expect anyone to come and teach you how to use them. Initiative is a prerogative to innovation in the classroom. Do not be one of those people who love to sit back, knees crossed inside a staffroom and simply say – Listen nobody came to tell me what I have to do so I won’t do anything!!! Why on earth would you expect this kind of hand holding? You are a professional.

  21. The blog comment here certainly reveals a fact that all of us find it hard to admit! I admit that a face to face session is surely something that I (not to judge anyone) am more comfortable with. In fact it’s true that after the last session, I had more questions than answers about this assignment. But now that I come to think of it, it was a great idea to engage us in a blog activity. Personally, I’ve never had an opportunity to follow a blog before, even though recently I’ve followed Caruana Galizia’s blog, out of curiosity. I do believe that we should be mature enough to experiment and explore the wonders of internet on our own. Recently I’ve been told to download a certain program called dropbox:

    http://www.dropbox.com/

    Apparently it’s been out for sometime but I have never heard about it. Exploring a bit what does this dropbox do, I’ve found out that it’s a great way to share files with my pgce colleagues! I suggest that you try it out because it’s been of great use for us 🙂

  22. I perfectly believe what has been said so far. A lot of us grumble about our students, teaching strategies of particular teachers, school culture and so on so forth but how often we find solutions to these?…I believe that teachers can make a difference. Lipsky and Gartner together with Walker talk about the least restrictive environment and autonomous learning with reference to students with disability and they show that we as teachers can make a difference in our students life. We can adapt pedagogies in our classes including our own motivation and creativity. We have to take the bull by the horns and decide the best methods to teach our students irrelevant what the school culture is.

    If we as prospective teachers believe that technology enhance learning, why we cannot use it? because there aren’t any technology devices at school? get your own or take the initiative to talk to the people in charge and try to convince them that technology has to be included in teaching. Why not? Why do we can’t take our own initiative?. Teachers can make a difference. Fraser (1997) calls for a working together of a politics of redistribution to politics of difference.

  23. I totally agree with the use of technology in schools. Its pointless and selfish to reject this idea of tech in classrooms since we are heading to a “worlds’ tech vision”. It would be very non-professional if we create an educational world far different from the outside reality. This will only cause lack of motivation and interest. Moreover, as mentioned above, it’s us who need to pull up our sleeves and bring on this change.

    Saying all of this, I am not excluding the fact that as professional teacher we can have all the resources available, but still creativity and self-confidence, are indeed important.

  24. I truly believe that it all depends on the character; most often, the pessimist and the negative complain all the time whereas the optimist and the positive see opportunity in every difficulty… I fully agree with the last part of the blog where it says ‘that you should have enough self confidence as a teacher, as a professional – that you believe enough in yourself and your capabilities’. Indeed, confidence is always the key! It is all about attitude! It is all about from which perspectives and dimensional views do we look at facts… With regard to teachers, teaching and being experimental, I simply like what Kahlil Gibran states in The Prophet that ‘if the teacher is indeed wise, he does not bid you enter the house of wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind’.

    • I agree wholeheartedly with you Stephania saying that individual character makes a difference on the way one considers technology. This blog made me reflect and I think it’s a boost for us to believe more in ourselves and in our capabilities… (not only re tech but re life in general) I’m truly learning from these blogs! 🙂

  25. Jiena naqbel ħafna ma’ Stephania Farrugia għaliex huwa inutli li wieħed igerger. Ikun ħafna aħjar li flok ingergru bħala għalliema nieħdu azzjoni, speċalment issa li qiegħed joqrob it-taħriġ prattiku (teaching practise). L-għalliema trid tkun kreattiva kemm jista’ jkun billi tagħmel użu tajjeb mit-teknoloġija. Jiena nemmen li s-suċċess tal-lezzjoni tiddependi ħafna mill-interess tal-istudenti għaliex jekk ma jkunx hemm interess il-lezzjoni ma tirnexxix. L-għalliema trid tkun kreattiva ħafna billi tkun kapaċi ssolvi xi problemi li jistgħu jinqalgħu.

    Għalkemm imxejna ‘l quddiem għad fadal ħafna xi jsir fl-iskejjel tagħna sabiex nimmotivaw iżjed lill-istudenti. Hemm bżonn li noħolqu atmosfera sabiħa sabiex l-istudenti jħossuhom aħjar u jitgħallmu iżjed. Dan ma jistax issir jekk l-għalliema ma tkunx ippreparata biżżejjed u jekk ma tkunx kunfidenti biżżejjed. Dan l-ambjent nistgħu noħolquħ tajjeb ħafna permezz tat-teknoloġija u b’hekk l-istudenti jkollhom iżjed opportunitajiet sabiex jesprimu l-opinjoni tagħhom. Iżjed mal-istudenti jkunu involuti waqt il-lezzjoni iżjed aħjar; dan jista’ jsir tajjeb permezz tal-bord interattiv (interactive whiteboard). L-għalliema għandha tagħmel ir-riċerka tagħha sabiex tuża b’mod effiċjenti din l-għodda.

    Dan il-vidjow interessanti jittratta l-użu tal-bord interattiv:

  26. Kulħadd igerger xi darba jew oħra fil-ħajja għaliex qatt ma jiġi kollox ward u żahar. U l-għalliema xejn inqas. Għalkemm qed ngħixu fi żmien li fih it-teknoloġija qiegħda kulma jmur tiffjorixxi dejjem aktar, xorta waħda ser insibu għalliema li jirreżistuha anke għaliex ma jkununx familjari magħha. F’din il-ħaġa mhemmx eta`, jiġifieri seer issib anke xi għalliema żgħar li ma jkunux iridu jużawha. Madankollu llum il-ġurnata t-tfal kważi jitwieldu jafuha tant hija nfilsata f’ħajjithom; playstations, mobajls, ipads, iphones, internet, websajts, blogs u ħafna iktar. Spiċċaw kważi ma jgħaddux mingħajrhom. Għalhekk m’għandhiex tkun l-iskola jew l-għalliema li ċċaħħadhom minnha. Jekk irridu li t-tagħlim ikun awtentiku, kontemporanju u li jolqot l-interess tal-istudenti rridu nagħmlu użu mir-riżorsi teknoloġiċi u ma ngergrux u ma nibżgħux nipprovaw xi ħaġa ġdida kemm hi ġdida.

    Minkejja dak kollu li għedt xorta waħda rridu nħallu post għall-kreattivita` u x-xogħol bl-idejn: bħal ngħidu aħna joħolqu xi ċart.

  27. This bog presents a very bleak pictures of educators and a artificially positive one of technology and the people who are presenting it to the rest of the educational community. To begin with, I have work experience in three different settings. I have worked in the private, church and government sector and I have noticed several differences in the three sectors. When I was working in the private sector, I had no reason to complain because (unlike the government sector), I was never expected to do anything I was not equipped and trained (properly) to do. Working within the private sector you are given a set of resources, you are taught how to use them and you are obviously obliged to use them.

    When working in a church school, there was a similar picture. The main difference was that since money was not as readily available as in other institutions, we were expected to make the best out of our resources. Technology was appreciated, but it was never seen as ESSENTIAL and as such, I do believe that in education this is the case. Sometimes, some things can be done just as good through pen and paper as well as through specialized software.

    I have also worked in government schools and there was a lot of complaining which I believe is often well founded. Teachers are expected to make use of technology for which proper training (not just an in service course) was not given. During my teaching practice an english teacher was telling me how he was going to be assessed on a particular technique for which he had received no training whatsoever but simply had to make do with research he had done.

    If the educational authorities expect educators who are able to perform to their utmost, they must be given proper resources and training without expecting every single individual in their midst to be self-driven and highly motivated. How can an individual be motivated, if they do not have the necessary means to achieve even basic goals? Teachers are professionals but they are certainly not treated as such. A true professional would simply not accept to work in a number of our schools where sometimes even having a chair in the classroom is difficult.

    Having said all this, I am totally in favor of having technology and making the full use of it, but pointing fingers at teachers as being cry babies who always complain is not only demeaning but also inappropriate.

    Being given an interactive whiteboard is important, but being shown thoroughly how to use it, and being given resources to make the best use of it is just as important. Expecting teachers who are already overloaded with writing evaluations, lesson plans creating resources attending IEPs, doing supervision and having a family seems to be too much in my view.

    There is only SO much that a professional can do and being supported by the institution one works for should not be seen as spoon-feeding. The modern school has become such a highly complex environment that every little bit of help is needed to make sure that teachers can accommodate such changes.

    “Life is not easy at all. If you want an easy life, then you can stay at home and do nothing”.

    As professionals, teachers want to work but simply need help to achieve the goals which they have set by external forces. It is not about wanting things to be easy. If teaching was easy there wouldn’t be such a high turnover in the profession and such high levels of depression.

    I hope that this comment doesn’t come across as aggressive but having worked with a number of teachers and knowing what they face on a daily basis has made me empathize with them and has given me a perspective on what is to come.

    Technology is only useful if it helps the professional and it should not be assumed that technology will always be useful. Sometimes technology compliments the teacher’s teaching methods but that is down to the individual to assess as PROPER direction is often lacking. When the teacher is given resources directly and instructed to do so, then teachers will obviously have no excuse to refuse using technology.

    • I agree Reuben… teachers should be given training and support. I find it is fundamental. However… there is a big however… how would you propose to go about it? Abroad, generally speaking, Professional Development (PD) is given a lot of importance. And most often this happens after school hours. Would you see an issue with this happening in Malta?

  28. I completely agree with what was written so far because portfolios can be beneficial to the teacher and to the student. The teacher can put material on-line so that material which s/he was not able to pass during the lesson can easily be downloaded or read by students from home. This material is accessible to students and so they can enhance their learning. They can go to school and ask their questions to the lectures where even they may have any difficulty. The most important thing is that of generating curiosity in the students so that they continue to learn. All paperwork or printing may be avoided. Students can access this material when they want. Schools should consider this aid in learning too. At the university we have the moodle where material is made available for the students to read. On the other hand, students must do their job and read this material.

  29. Yes, I surely agree that most of the times that teachers complain is because they have not found alternative ways of how to deal with the problem. However, sometimes, there are instances where teachers face problems or discomforts which are not in their control and they have to be faced with them due to the hierarchical structure of power that there exists in education. The main cause of this problem is because there is not enough consultation among the teachers about certain measures and policies that characterise the changes in certain educational aspects. Consequently, teachers will not be equipped and prepared enough for such pertinent changes in education for example, the introduction of mixed ability classes in education. Complementing with this, if there is a reform in education there should be the proper resources allocated to it. With the introduction of mixed ability classes, there should be proper support to the main teachers by having assistant teachers helping them deal with students, and the classes should be small in size. Therefore, there should be increase in teachers for sure!! Thus, my point is that sometimes teachers have a reason to complain given that they are being affected directly by such a reform. Teachers should exercise their right to fight for their rights and where it is necessary to complain because if there is some form of defect in the educational system, they should do so in the interests of students and the country in general. Just to make myself clear, I am not telling that I am not in favour of Mixed Ability Classes, but to have such a measure operate successfully and effectively, there should be adequate resources both human and physical, that support the teachers’ needs. So, I agree that teachers should voice their concerns and complain if it is necessary and beneficial to do so because otherwise, mistakes will not be resolved and there could be a long term negative effect on students.

    However, I have to admit that sometimes, there are instances where teachers complain about this or that, without recognising the fact that there could be alternative ways on how to deal with the issue or problem. And then, it comes the effective use of our profession that is, when we make informed decisions and try to seek other effective and meaningful ways of how to deal with the situation. Technology should not be a concern to teachers because nowadays, almost all classes are equipped with technological equipment, and so the teachers’ challenges should be how to best use these technologies well, in the right moment of the lesson, in the right context and in the right environment, where students should enjoy themselves during the lesson and be engaged meaningfully. This will surely enhance the learning experience and development of the individual. Finally, I have to say that it is the creativity, enthusiasm, personality and pedagogical approach of the teacher which make the real difference in the classroom that is, the way the teacher communicates knowledge to students, and not whether there is enough technology or not or whether the books are torn or not!!!!!

  30. Technology has entered the life of students today, and it has to enter in their school lives aswell. As future teachers this is our time to make the most of the technology we can use in our teaching. Students need to be engaged, motivated and must be the participants in the classroom. If we take their interests at first and apply them in our teaching we can have successful outcomes. We are quite lucky that we our trained in this course, however there should be more training for teachers that have been working for a long time now. Sometimes they may find it difficult to catch up with the latest technologies, or else they do not find time to dedicate such things like preparing an infographic note of exercise, or editing a short video clip. I believe that we are blessed that the new curriculum is taking into account the e-learning, that the newest colleges have interactive whiteboards in each classroom and our role as teachers is to learn and make use of them.

    I wanted to share this video:

  31. As research and technologies make advances, the means to educate students must always keep pace otherwise one is considered to be outdated. Educational technology has grown tremendously and has permeated all areas of our lives. For most young people, use of the Internet, plays a major role in their relationships with their friends, their families, and their schools. Teens and their parents generally think use of the Internet enhances the social life and academic work of teenagers.

    Having said that, one must NOT underestimate the teachers’ important role. Technology should be complimentary to the teachers teaching and not replace it, although it’s a tool for making teachers’ life easier. I believe that the teacher is an important resource in the classroom because at the end of the day the outcomes of the lesson depend greatly on the creativity and imagination of the teacher. It’s true that tech allows for greater creativity but it can sometimes screw up and the teacher has to improvise! During my first TP I have planned an outstanding lesson on the interactive whiteboard, students were enjoying the lesson BUT in the middle of the lesson it just stopped working and since then I realised that, one should always be backed up when using technology, one can’t count on it!

    Also, a supportive system, where teachers can attend training courses in order to keep themselves abreast, is crucial. This might be a relatively brand new system for those teachers who have been teaching for several years. It’s also important that funds are provided for the learning resources a teacher might need so that all students could have equal opportunities.

    One may wonder: Is technology threatening to get between the teacher and the students? Is technology really enhancing our teaching? Are teachers receiving sufficient training in the new technology? Is the software meeting our expectations? Is it actually in place at all in some cases?

    • sorry just want to correct myself when saying : since then I realised that, one should always be backed up when using technology, one can’t *completely count on it!

  32. Children are living in a digitilised world and as teachers we must engage ourselves by constantly updating ourselves with the latest technologies. However, even schools should be a continutation of this cyber culture by making internet access available in schools and offering the students the opportunity to use the social networking access within the school. Moreover, I also believe that teachers should maintain a balance between the old method i.e the hands on activities and the use of information technology in the classroom which are both essential tools for the students’s overall development. As a prospective PSD teacher I feel that information technology must be used as another tool and not replace the other methods, such as face-to-face discussions, which enhance the students’ communication and listening skills. These are essential components that will eventually help the student handle relationships as an adolescent and in the future, being friendship, family or work situations.

  33. I do agree that there are various complaints by teachers, especially about technology. One of the complaints I heard various times during my first teaching practice was that the authorities are giving too much importance to the interactive whiteboards while ignoring other important things such as a good internet connection in the school. The teacher who did this complaint makes use of the interactive whiteboard and acknowledges its advantages, but what is the world without the internet nowadays? Another point I would like to mention is that I believe that text books and teachers can never by replaced by technology or online lessons. As one of our lecturers tells us, the teacher is the best resource!

    • Agreed! However as teachers I think that you should have enough voice and enough strength to demand to have the right tools to be able to work. Like a good Internet connection. Alas sometimes I believe that certain people love the status quo, cause it’s so much simpler to sit back and complain rather than react. It takes a lot of effort to be able to make a change.

  34. There is place for technology in every classroom, however we as teachers must not be afraid to use it! Once there is the drive to use it, then the rest will follow.

    I was teaching Science in a church school, and they instralled the IWB in every classroom in that school. I believe that this was a great investment in the education of these students. However, there was one main problem; none of the teachers knew how to use them. In spite of this, some teachers, including myself did try to first use it to show power points and maybe put up the notes and highlight things on them.Obviously, there was much more to the use of the IWB.

    What followed was a session, giving us a basic idea of how to use it, showing us the basic tools that one can use during the lessons. This was of great help to all of us… some of us went home immediately, downloaded the software and started experimenting and researching more about it. What some of us thought was something way too difficult to grasp, with that little extra help, this difficulty was slowly overcome.

    It is a reality that sometimes we tend to feel ‘threatened’ by new things, new technologies. However, we are not alone in this. Teachers can help each other, talk to professionals in the area concerned and use technology as a means to engage the students. We do not use technology just for the sake of it, but we use it knowing that it makes education dynamic and fruitful!

  35. This article by Philip Berne, has really inspired me. This is an article which, in my opinion, everyone should read and dedicate some time to reflect upon.

    This statement, by Berne, has really made me think about a number of issues :

    “The problem with education is, and always will be, a human issue”

    Interesting isn’t it ? It is very easy to criticize. Criticizing without thinking of solutions is one of the easiest things to do… but really and truly what is the problem with education? Is it truly a lack of funds? Is it because students are lazy? Is it because parents don’t seem to give enough importance to their children’s formation?

    Before pointing a finger, we should keep in mind that as educators, we have an immense responsibility. Educating is not merely a job that starts at eight in the morning and finishes at three in the afternoon. The job of an educator is ongoing, it is a profession and most of all, it should be done with passion and dedication.
    Technological resources are there to enable educators enhance the transmission of knowledge however, educators cannot and should not blame the lack of funds in the school to invest in the latest technology: As future educators, we should keep in mind that it is our responsibility to be creative – to give life to our lessons and it is not merely the amount of technology we have at our disposal – it is how we make use of it, what we manage to create.

    The last part of the article, is the part which has struck me the most. Unfortunately, like you very accurately pointed out, it seems to be a common characteristic in human beings to complain, however, as Philip Berne very well pointed out ‘’If you want to fix education, you won’t be able to do it with software and technology. You need to start with the people. Help them. Respect them and support them.’’

    Berne is emphasizing the fact that before trying to improve education with technology, we must first look within ourselves and modify our mentalities. As educators we must keep in mind that the seemingly ‘lazy’ student might have very serious issues on his/her mind, that the parents who do not turn up for parent’s day work day and night to be able to provide an education for their children and that the first thing we need to do as educators is stop complaining, stop labeling and let Berne’s article inspire us: We must keep in mind that educating is a career that we need to do with passion and that, in reality, as most of our parents give a lot to their children, we have so much to transmit to our students.

  36. I do agree with what you said in this post. As future teachers I’m sure that we will always find something to complain about; lack of school resources, introduction of new technologies in classrooms etc. But I think that it is our responsibility as teachers to try to do our best with whatever we are given to work with. During my first teaching practice, the school I was placed at had just installed the interactive whiteboards. I overheard some teachers complain about this fact, that they had no idea how to use it, and that now they are going to have to plan new lessons to include use of the whiteboard in case the EOs came to observe their lesson. I felt that this kind of talk was very unprofessional. As teachers we should take the initative to learn how to use these technologies, not for the sake of using them or impressing an observing, but for the sake of finding out how these new technologies could help our students to learn and be more active in the learning process. I had never used a Hitachi whiteboard before, but I took the initiative of taking some time to play around with it to find out how I could use it my lessons to get students involved. In reality, we do this all the time. Whenever we get a new laptop, or a new phone, we take the time to figure out how it works, and how it is going to make our life a little bit easier. So why not take the time to do the same with technologies that will help us be better teachers?

  37. I see that the great thing about technology is that you dont really need anyone to teach you how to use a tool or when and why to us it, now a days there are so many different forms of technology one can integrate in the classroom that it would be a sin to teach all the teachers how to use one specific tool to integrate on their classrooms. Thanks to the growing and evolving digital age the sky is the limit and teachers should be thankful for this as technology could not only help the teacher to explain better but also get the students much more interested due to the new methods of transferring knowledge. We mentions creaza and other mind mapping tools in a different blog that are very useful for language teachers, there is the wedo Robot that could be used for maths lessons an also computer lesson and also story telling, there is the nxt robot which could be used again for math and computer for programming, there are interactive whiteboard which are great for EVERY subjects as the students love using it and getting involved, the list goes on and on. This comes to show that modern teachers should not complain about technology but they should get their foot in it and become accustomed to it, Internet is very helpful when it comes to tutorials on how to use the different programs and technology available now a days! Technology has taken education to a whole new level, it has also brought about more individual leaning as a student could simply use the Internet to learn more about the things mentioned it the class by doing his/her own research and creating their own ideas and views.

  38. I totally agree with what you said in the above. Since we are living in a technology driven world, therefore one of the most important educational needs, is using technology as an effective learning tool.

    Teachers encourage students to experiment and explore with various things in order to gain knowledge and skills, therefore why not apply this to ourselves and investigate, learn and experiment with these various technological devices and use them effectively in our teaching.

  39. I agree with Bernice Abdilla that ” change” is at first seen as a threat. Shifting from one system to another can involve different ‘fears’. ( teacher’s performance, “know-how” to use technology?, effectivity?) Reuben mentioned the requirement of training to allow transmission to new ways of working. “Job-Training” is necessary but also may involve ” labour costs”, it may be funds are limited? In-service training is limited to, lets say a 2 hour session. BUT and I emphasize again, as I have witnessed here. Among us teachers we do find people who adapt easily to change and are gifted technologically more than others. BLOGGING may be a learning platform that can apply also in this scenario. We may teach each other and support each other, to familiarize ourselves and progressively adapt ourselves to the new challenges. When we open ourselves to each other it is amazing what we may do.

    Let me mention this in the “ice-age” primitive man, survived the terrible life-threatening challenge, by hunting in a group. Collaborative effort ensured the success of their hunting activity. Among the group each had their role but they worked together. If not they would have died out. And man could have become extinct.

    Again, here if we avail ourselves of supporting each other we may not see difficulties as a insurmountable stumbling block. We may use “free” media to allow everybody the opportunity to learn and “blogging” as an ongoing activity may help “new” teachers any time they may require. ( which is longer than a 2 hour training session).

  40. Several times, one comes across many teachers complaining about their everyday routine, about their lack of resources. These are common arguments which one may come across in the staff room. Nowadays many schools are becoming up to date with technology, schools are offering several resources yet you still get teachers complaining. I was even surprised about some teachers complaining about interactive white boards, saying that they don’t need them in order to teach their students, or that they don’t want to waste time learning them. Some even said they’re a waste of money. I was very shocked to hear this because many times these teachers were the same ones who before used to complain about the lack of resources. What I’m saying is people tend to complain even when they’re offered all the resources possible, instead of appreciating what they have and making best use out of it! Nowadays the problem is not technology but the teacher confidence in using it. Teachers should also invite students to use it at home for educational purposes. I myself invited my students, during my TP, to write their essay on the computer if they wanted instead of writing it on paper.

  41. We all agree that technology facilitates our lives nowadays… looking into the educational sector we are evidencing the fact that innovations which are being created are additional resources for us teachers (to-be) to help us convey our messages to our students. Some may come up with the Maltese saying ‘il-progress rigress’ which I also like recalling at times, but in this case where we are dealing with technology and teaching I think that technology (progress) does not put back the ultimate aims of teaching and learning, on the contrary technology is enhancing it. However, we must not take it for granted; since many may become lazy and think that technology can solve everything, assuming that we can rely on the internet whenever we have a task or an assignment to do for instance. I replicate the point mentioned by my colleague in one of the above comments, that text books can never be replaced. Whenever we want to back an argument in academia, we rely on literature because we firmly believe and trust the job and research of professionals, academics and scholars. Their experience and contributions in a particular field is definitely a mine of resource for better knowing that subject, much more than technology I dare say.

  42. Ħafna drabi aħna nilmentaw fuq kollox u dan iseħħ l-aktar meta niġu ffaċċjati b’esperjenzi ġodda. Naraw ilmenti speċjalment fejn jidħlu mezzi tat-teknoloġija ġodda. Dawn l-ilmenti narawhom ġejjin l-aktar min-naħa tal-għalliema u l-istudenti. L-għalliema jagħmlu dan għaliex għandhom it-tendenza li jibżgħu minn teknoloġiji ġodda minħabba li jaħsbu li se jsibuha diffiċli biex jużaw dak il-mezz teknoloġiku partikolari. L-għalliema m’għandhomx jibżgħu mill-kreattività. Għandhom jippruvaw joħolqu modi ġodda ta’ kif iwasslu t-tagħlim tagħhom b’mod kreattiv. Iżda huwa wkoll bżonnjuż li jiġu pprovduti korsijiet ta’ taħriġ meta joħorġu teknoloġiji ġodda. Dan żgur jgħin biex jitnaqqas ħafna stress min-naħa tal-għalliema.

  43. Nowadays technology is advancing at a very fast rate. I remember myself buying my first desktop computer which for that time was a very innovative thing to have. I also remember writing on project books for my school projects until I had my computer. This also applies to the school perspective; teachers were used to show us videos using the video player and the television. On the contrary, nowadays schools have not only televisions but projectors, IWB etc, which all these help for students to be engaged within the learning process.

    Unfortunately, some may complain about the introduction of the IWB, this had also been pointed out by some students when we had to produce a presentation for one of our modules using the Interactive Whiteboard. I must admit until I practiced on the IWB I thought that I would not be able to make use of it appropriate. However, as soon as I started working with it I found it great. I realized the benefits that it offers while teaching students, especially for me as a prospective Geography teacher.

    For my subject, students are more motivated and engaged in learning when presenting visuals as with images and videos. The web offers a wide variety of resources whereby through the use of the IWB teachers can show such resources to students without feeling the need to print all those images on papers.

    I don’t think that there is any problem when using technology as to teach students. With respect to this blog, had it not been for such initiative we would have been kept within a classroom base and discuss such issues among our group only. Through this blog we were given the opportunity to communicate with each other regardless which group we are in and express our views on number of factors. Had it not been for such technological initiative some points listed here could not have been pointed out during a face-to-face discussion.

    One last think that I wanted to point out is that the teacher must be motivated and believe in her ability that she/he can make a change in the lives of students in a positive way. Recently I came across a video which really impressed me and left an impact on me

    I am posting this video just to point out that although we might complain about the stuff that we have to do, unless we act, nothing will happen. We must believe in ourselves!!!!

  44. I love to watch Grey’s Anatomy. One episode was once about adapting to the specific situation you find yourself, and something that stuck with me (even though the episode came out about two years ago) was this: “We either adapt to change, or we get left behind!” this is something I experienced firsthand when I was at a friend’s house and all the other guests started talking about their HTC smart phones. I insisted I didn’t want to buy one because I was happy with my old fashioned phone. But I can tell you, I was bored and completely left out when they brought up HTCs as a topic of conversation. So in a sense, since I didn’t adapt to the change going on in the mobile phones, I got left behind.

    So, I agree that professionals (not only teachers) need to be technology-literate. However, I am not going to go into “which is better, technology in class? Or old fashioned methods without technology in class?” I do not even believe the question can even be answered. I think that it HEAVILY depends on what the class prefers. For example, I had a class of students who were only interested in colouring. Therefore, in their lessons I would use about 4 exercises that involved colouring and 1 that involved technology. And upon asking them what they thought of that, they liked it. I even uncovered a case of bullying (I’m a PSD PGCE student) through colouring. PSD is all about expression and if colouring is the students’ most comfortable method of expression, I am no one to enforce technology onto them if it’s not going to reach the students. And the opposite situation applies too. Some students are intrigued by technology and are curious about it and keen to learn how to use it. If the lesson involves an interactive white board, the students will be interested in writing on it, and using it.

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