[Technology 1307] Tech Self-Assessment, tech for tech's sake

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Marian Thacher mthacher at otan.us
Mon Oct 1 15:17:14 EDT 2007

Pinder Naidu raised the very important question of how we know when
technology is an appropriate tool. We certainly don't want to be promoting
technology for technology's sake. Rather, all the various technologies at
our disposal are simply tools.

For example, the interactive whiteboard does all the same things you can
do with a blackboard and chalk, with some additional features such as
being able to save what is written there, being able to select and move
things around, capturing Web pages or textbook pages, and converting
handwriting to text. I was excited when I saw the ability to select and
move pictures, because I had file drawers in my garage full of envelopes
of cut up pictures for ESOL learners to manipulate as part of practicing
vocabulary. So the advent of the electronic whiteboard allowed me to make
my lesson planning simpler, and to clean out my garage!

I wasn't aware of the possibilities of assistive technology until I had an
older man in my classroom who had a hard time reading on the computer
screen. Changing the text size and colors helped, so I became a fan of the
kinds of assistance that are built into Windows and other operating

I have seen this with other teachers too. What's exciting is not
technology itself, but technology that provides a solution to an existing
problem. So, my hope for the self-assessment is that it addresses
technology skills that will ehlp teachers solve classroom problems.

Have you seen other examples of this? Have you seen examples of using
technology just for the sake of technology, and not addressing a learning
or teaching challenge? Do you think technology is under-utilized, or

Marian Thacher, OTAN
P.O. Box 269003
Sacramento, CA 95826-9003
(916) 228-2597

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