Technology has become one of the cornerstones of our society as it impacts all facets of life as we currently know it. Cell phones, tablets, laptops, watches, Fitbit, GoPro, and the list goes on and on with us just considering the hardware that we interact with in our personal and professional lives. When we then factor in the apps, software, and all of the programs we interact with on all of these devices we can see that technology is vital to many of the things we do. In order for future generations to be successful, it is essential that they are knowledgeable in the use of many of these devices and software as well as how to use them responsibly. It is partly the responsibility of schools to help students become familiar with how to use technology in a meaningful way. In order to support the learning instruction should be supported by learning theory. “There exists a complementary relationship between constructivist practice and technology.” Technology creates a collaborative environment where students are the experts and they learn from each other. Using technology creates situations where students have a variety of ways to show mastery of content due to the flexibility of available tools.
The primary goal of education technology in my teaching and learning environment is to create an environment where “the use of technology is routine and transparent and where technology supports curricular goals.” This creates situations where the use of technology makes sense and does not feel forces or used simply for the sake of using technology. Students learn to use a variety of tools that allow them to express their mastery of content in transformational ways while also becoming good digital citizens.
Becoming a good digital citizen is the key to issues that should be addressed for students in their learning environment. This is a two part problem that needs to be addressed. First, students must become effective users of a variety of technology tools in order to effectively navigate the real world. Everything from banking, job interviews, travel, jobs, and even paying your bill at a restaurant is becoming more and more dependent on technology usage. Students need chances to interact with as many types of devices as possible. This will not only teach them the basics of using the different devices, but also open them to the possibilities available with different devices. More important than being able to use a variety of devices is being able to use them in a positive and responsible manner. Social media and the continuing advancements in technology have created a multitude of ways for people to use this technology in inappropriate ways. Teaching students to be good digital citizens means teaching students how to avoid using technology inappropriately and how to avoid being taken advantage by other people using technology. In order to accomplish this it is important for teacher to model ethical technology use and to also incorporate conversations about ethical technology use into regular lessons where technology is used.
9 resources for teaching digital citizenship. (n.d.). Retrieved January 22, 2017, from https://www.iste.org/explore/articleDetail?articleid=242
Edutopia. (2008, March 17). Why integrate technology into the curriculum?: The Reasons Are Many. Retrieved January 21, 2017, from https://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-introduction
National Social Science Association. (n.d.). Retrieved January 22, 2017, from http://www.nssa.us/journals/2007-29-1/2007-29-1-15.htm