By Carol Hadley

 

We have been teaching children and adults about technology in order to understand the Hows.  Today, when one click takes you to another world, it is more likely that the technology is teaching us the Whys.

Technology can be an all consuming event in our lives. We have information overload, spend time unproductively on websites, and have shortened attention spans.

Wait, what was I saying?…

Oh right, in the past few decades we have been learning about technology in terms of software and hardware, such as monitors, the mouse, and motherboards. Each component, on its own is intriguing if you think about the technology that is needed to make them work. Each element elicits possibilities that were not around 30 years ago.

Some lessons learned beyond the keyboard:

Why is Connectivity King?

What use to be worlds apart are now just moments away.  Technology reduces the communication gap around the world. Businesses on different continents can conduct live meetings with each other using technology, cutting the time delay in gathering information and providing analysis. Today’s students can visit foreign classrooms virtually; creating a more engaging learning environment, and as a result are building a better understanding of other cultures.  Without Skype or other applications, we could not visit our families that live far away. Although the world is still geographically large, connectivity brings businesses, education, and families closer. More quickly than trains, planes, and automobiles!

 

Why Consider the Source?

Technology teaches us that education is much more than listening to others’ opinions. Education is experiencing and exploring through our own processes the world of information and wonderment. When I was young, I remember reading textbooks and wondering “Where did they get this information?” “Who chose what I needed to learn?” Our minds want to absorb every subject and detail that we can find. The lesson is to find the best way to research your topic and make sure your resources are legitimate. Research leads the way into new worlds, both geographically and intellectually.  Good research tips can be found here.

Why is Adaptability Sporadic?

In the past, there were a few years between major technological changes and updates.  Now, technology changes more rapidly than Superman in a phone booth. As the desire, or addiction, to new technology pushes the boundaries and forges forward, we have to change with it.

There are members of society as well as schools and organizations,  that have outdated equipment or not enough bandwidth to keep up with current technology. Today’s digital culture embraces ongoing changes with new apps and devices. Technology is not a fad…repeat…not a fad. The future is here, we must not leave anyone behind.

 

Why Perpetuate Potential?

Technology helps us to redefine our potential in today’s world because there are so many more resources at our fingertips. We can expand our thoughts and create opportunities to learn more and be more. Although some may think that your potential is already set, your potential can be enhanced and encouraged through experiences shared by the world. One example is Justin Bieber, the teen phenomenon that was discovered on YouTube in 2007. Another example, and more useful than a thousand screaming Bieber fans, is the Khan Academy. It is a non-profit organization whose goal is to provide free education for anyone anywhere.  Learn more at http://www.khanacademy.org/  .

Understanding the Whys of technology into today’s world can be overwhelming. Technology in education provides an environment that enhances our relationships, learning processes and can spark otherwise unknown potential. The real lesson is that technology can be beneficial if used for the right reason at the right time.

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