Recent discussions have shed light on being a 21st century teacher, a goal that is not being achieved in many classrooms across the U.S. Marc Pensky writes in “Turning on the Lights” about the idea that children are no longer ‘in the dark’. Children come to school having vast amounts of knowledge about the world around them. In Pensky’s work in Turning on the lights he mentions that the teacher dynamic needs to change toward this idea that students are not in the educational dark. “Teachers would no longer be the providers of information but instead be the explainers, the context providers, the meaning makers, and the evaluators of information that kids find on their own” (Pensky, M., 2008, para. 14). Peskey mentions that more often than not, children are told to ‘unplug’ when they enter school (Pensky, M., 2008, para. 16). Pensky’s argument is that students should be using all of this technology to their advantage, and as educators we should be facilitating these skills with technology. Pensky encourages that educators “Give students the opprotunity to use technology in school, find out how students want to be taught, connect students to the world, and understand where kids are going [to the future]”(Pensky, M., 2008, paras. 28-31). Prensky, M. (2008). Turning on the lights. Educational Leadership. 6(65), 40-45.
Technology in the classroom is a controversial topic as Mary Beth Hertz explains in her article “The Right Technology may be a Pencil”. Hertz who is a computer lab teacher herself has mixed feelings on how technology should be integrated into the classroom. “Too often we get so excited by the fancy gadgets that we have access to that we forget that sometimes a pencil will suffice” (Hertz, M.B., 2011, papa. 1). According to Hertz technology should only be used when appropriate, and pencil and paper should not be forgotten. Hertz believes that 21-century teachers shouldn’t count out older technologies just to become this futuristic educator (Hertz, M.B., 2011, para. 8). Hertz, M. (2011). Sometimes the right technology is a a pencil. Edutopia.org. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/technology-integration-classroom-mary-beth-hertz
Viewpoints are still not black and white on technology in the classroom as Kathy Cassidy explains in “The Use and Abuse of Technology in the Classroom”. Cassidy explains that she is concerned with how technology is being used in the classroom. “Technology should not just allow us to do things in a more engaging way; it should allow us to do new things that we thought were not possible. It is those new things things that are the real value technology provides. (Cassidy,K., 2013, para. 2). Her ideas somewhat mirror those of Mary Beth Hertz in that they both believe that technology shouldn’t be replacing what is already working; technology should be creating new tools that have never before been possible. Cassidy explains that technology should not just be used for the sake of using technology, but rather the use of technology should foster new types of tasks and activities in the classroom. Cassidy, K. (2013, January 5). The use and abuse of technology in the classroom. [Web log post] Retrieved from http://kathycassidy.com/2013/01/05/the-use-and-abuse-of-technology-in-the-classroom/
My own views are the most similar with Kathy Cassidy’s opinions on technology in the classroom. I believe that technology has a plethora of valuable aspects that can be implemented into a classroom setting. I don’t believe that we as future 21-century educators should expect students to ‘unplug’ when they arrive at school, but we should be teaching and modeling how to appropriately use technology in a school setting. Cassidy, and Hertz believed that ‘old’ technologies, such as a pencil and paper, should not automatically be removed from the classroom I also believe that there is still use in some of the ‘older’ methods. I think the main issue here is that there are not enough teachers who feel ‘tech savvy’ enough to comfortably integrate technology successfully. Our best best to creating more 21st- century educators is to educate our educators on how to use new technologies in the classroom.