So, this is how it feels...
As I sat watching
a Japanese movie
with French Subtitles,
I kinda gleened an understanding how special learners feel…
I can read French
and understand better than just hearing it,
but not if it goes too quickly;
my processing & decoding take way too long…
Feeling like understanding is just out of reach…
This happens for longer than I can handle.
I give up.
Technology has great potential to “level the playing field”. It also has great potential to divide it even more.
Unfortunately, it may be the latter statement that is true in many cases. I am speaking from the point of view of an occasional teacher who goes into different schools across a large city. I am not a consultant or an expert, and thus, this blog is simply my humble opinion.
There are a lot of great teachers doing great things with technology in their classrooms. That is Truth. I’ve seen it; they share it; the students love it and they are engaged. These are all facts. And, this is all very Awesome.
But, what about all of those teachers who would love to get in on all of this only to find that the school they teach at does not have the technological resources available to do so? What about the students who do not get to build an application for an iPad because their school does not have even one iPad? What about the schools with no Smart Boards, or classrooms without one computer, never mind a pod? What about the school without digital cameras or the means to create a Podcast, or to Skype professionals around the world? What about those schools where the main concern is the Food Programs because the students are not coming to school with enough food?
Sure, you don’t NEED technology to teach. We’ve been doing it without forever, but wouldn’t these students benefit from the experience gained and the engagement that technology can provide?
I am not at all suggesting that any teachers stop what they are doing with technology in their classrooms, but something needs to be done. It seems that education is all about, “No Child Left Behind” and “Every Child Matters” and similar such Sentiments. It is being said by Boards and Provinces, but is it really being reflected? Not all the time. It comes down to money. It always comes down to money. Technology seems to be furthering the divide between the “Haves” and the “Have-Nots”, perpetuating the cycle. Some of our young people will be fluent in Digital Literacies and others will not be. I wonder who will have a better chance at getting into higher education, and then better-paid careers? Who will be more likely to remain engaged in their learning and stay in school?
(*Just something I’ve been pondering this week.)
BUMP IT UP – Do Better to Be Better!
Nicola Schneider, Occasional Teacher, 13 years