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Technology the new means to an end?
Old 05-15-2011, 11:36 AM
 
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Dear Teachers,

I've spent the year integrating technology in meaningful ways. I view technology as a means to an end in the respect that (in general) there must be sufficient preparation, research, and content upfront. However, I have also felt that there must a balance of hands-on activities and projects which exercise a different portion of the brain. I have found students that are tech-savvy, oftentimes void of simple hands-on skills like cutting, folding, following hands-on directions. They are at a loss at solving hands-on problems.

Recently, I began to wonder whether my quest to seek the "balance" is even worthwhile in terms of the types of skills my students will need in the world of tomorrow. Will they need to know how to cut, glue, fold, etc or is our world increasingly becoming a virtual reality? Are Open Houses which exemplified the best in hands-on work becoming a relic of the past in terms of our technological world? Are we quickly becoming a paperless society?

Just wondering what others think. Please, share.


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my perspective
Old 05-15-2011, 12:06 PM
 
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To me, the "hands-on" skills of cutting, pasting and folding were also a means to end of a sort. I mean, how often, outside of school, now as an adult, do you cut, paste or fold something? Unless you scrapbook or quilt, I'd guess not much. Yes, we can make our own envelopes in a pinch...but envelopes themselves are less frequently used now as well.

It was more than the completion of those tasks involved. Those things refined motor skills, improved hand eye coordination, physical application of abstract thinking...They all improved us as people. I think those skills ultimately improved my typing ability and thus made my internet use more efficient.

So, as far as that goes, these are still necessary and appreciated skills. The "21st century skills" spouted are necessary more than ever but are still based on the same things as before...just my two cents...
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Old 05-26-2011, 01:22 PM
 
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of technology as a tool like any other... instead of an encyclopedia, I have an online one; instead of using pencil and paper, we use a word processor, instead of paint and brushes, we use a graphics program... I don't know that one is any better or worse than the other.. I just think they are all tools to get to the final product.

Does that mean they don't need to cut and paste and glue.. I think they do... I think the two can combine. My students did research and wrote books, which they illustrated in Pixie and then printed and bound to have a "paper product" for Open House. My fourth graders used technology for research then used authentic items to create a museum exhibit. My second graders read book and created a backboard display for biographies... the one that was totally paperless - wikis and glogs, which were to be displayed online.. never got seen because the school network went down due to bad weather - 15mins before the presentations began.. so, I emailed links to the parents and they could see them at home...

Just an aside, my first graders last year actually did an art study, and painted everything at their Open House... and they could tell you all about Pollock, Monet, Mondrian and Surat, as well as tell you which paintings of theirs were cubism, pointillism, realism and expressionism...

I don't think it's a replacement... I think it's just another tool to teach them to use and add to their repertoire of skills... and all are still important.
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