Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Resistance is Futile

The forward march of technology is relentless. When I think of educational technology, it sort of reminds me of the Borg from Star Trek: "Resistance is will be assimilated..."

Image from Wikipedia
That said...I'm still a fan of technology in education. (Probably because I've been assimilated.) :-) I think that we need to discern how to use technology in the classroom, and when it is a value-add proposition, and not just "Ooooo...shiny!"

In the EdTech class I'm teaching this summer,  I have my students reading Technopoly by Neil Postman. It's a challenging book, and one that always amazes me when I reread it. Postman argues (quite compellingly!) that North American culture is not really a tool-using culture, or even a technology-using culture, but we've reached a point where technology uses us...we are "slaves to the machines," so to speak. That sounds pretty bleak, doesn't it?

For Christian teachers, like us, I think it is very important to discern how we should use technology. It isn't really a question in my mind if we are going to use technology for teaching in the 21st century...but when we choose to incorporate it and how we choose to incorporate technology tools must be carefully reasoned!

Which leads me to this question: what heuristics shall we use to determine when and how to use technology? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!


  1. I think that 1 Corinthians 10:31 "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God," is a very good way to determine the use of technology. Can I best glorify God through this teaching method or by using this particular sight? These are hard questions but teaching calls us to ask hard questions of ourselves, our colleagues, and our students.

  2. Psalm 86:11 " Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name." This passage is challenging for me to keep my priorities focused on God. When we read Rosie Perera's article "Loving Technology, Loving God", it reminded me that I first need to be focused on God, on His Word, then find ways to glorify Him with the tools we have available today, including technology. He has given us the ability to create and use these resources in ways that bring us and others closer to Him. We do not have to be afraid of these tools, but do have to be "on guard" as we think about which tools to use and how. As a teacher, not only do I need to discern what is bringing Him glory and revealing his Truth to my students, but I also need to provide opportunities for my students to discern which tools accomplish this, as well. They will be faced with so many choices for tools to use in the future, that this skill just as essential as learning to use the tools themselves.