Though I’m a technology junkie, I continue to revel in the fact that so much of the world’s information is never more than a few keystrokes away. I remember the days of those terrible old search engines that returned 10 million results, most of them irrelevant. I marvel now at the ability of Google or Bing or Wolfram Alpha to deliver pretty much what I ask for.
Educators, from K to Ph.D., have assumed that our most foundational task is to put the best technology into the hands of as many people as possible. Once they have the tools, the assumption goes, our students can flourish. Whether delivering unbelievably cheap laptops or sophisticated scientific databases, education is in a providing mood despite the economic downturn. Many are predicting that the result will be a utopia in which education and technology create the super-student of the future.
My institution—Trinity Western University, in Langley, British Columbia—has technology: lots of it, from campus-wide Wi-Fi, to extensive library databases, to laptops in the hands of most students. One would think that utopia was just on the horizon, and the coming techno-student was emerging before our eyes. But, as necessary as technology is to education, something crucial has been left out. The give-them-technology movement is missing the point.…Read More