Blog Post

Technology != teaching

Forgive the obvious title...

My compatriot Bridget and I just finished another conversation in our series on the use of technology at the University of Iowa. This post (coming soon!) concerns the use of TILE classrooms at the University of Iowa. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the concept, TILE is short for: Transform, Interact, Learn, Engage. A TILE classroom is rich in technology (flat-screens/projects on the walls, computers at each table) and encourages collaboration (with old-fashioned technologies, such as round tables). I don't want to say too much more about it as we'll have a full post on our conversation with faculty members who have used the space soon.

What I do want to talk about is this article from The Atlantic. The article is titled "Technology is not the Answer." I thought it rather fitting to link to it from HASTAC, especially since we'll soon have a post promoting the idea that technology can improve the classroom experience. We're all aware of the transformative power of technology. But one can't help but agree with Toyama's experience. The internet hasn't been a panacea, in fact, there's increasing evidence that the internet hasn't truly improved our quality-of-life (yet).

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad the U of I is installing TILE classrooms and, more importantly, *training* teachers to use them. I just wanted to remind myself (and now, you) that unless we advance pedagogical practice in order to take advantage of new technologies, all the technology in the world isn't going to make us better teachers or improve the student experience (just ask my SO, who is still upset she sat through a documentary on the Civil War in HS instead of being *taught* about the Civil War).


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