Too Cool for School? No Way!
Punya Mishra and Matthew Koehler are clearly strong proponents of incorporating the latest technologies---including Web 2.0---into the classroom. They discuss people’s conception of technology and their initial discomfort with technology that is new to them. But they also suggest that incorporating new technology is not as simple as it seems. For much of the article, they attempt to construct an appropriate model of pedagogical theory that includes technology. They suggest several alternative search engines for the educational environment such as Viewzi and Clusty.
1. Is incorporating new technology as difficult as the author’s suggest?
Mishra and Koehler are trained theorists and appear to have a strong interest in the modeling aspect of pedagogy and technology. I think their fondness for creating new acronyms tends to over complicate the situation a bit. While it may be true that some technologies were not developed specifically for classroom application, that does not mean that a “specific kind of knowledge” is required to use them in the classroom. Application should be relatively straight-forward and not made to seem daunting.
2. Are many teachers intimidated by the new technology?
I believe they are. That is why it is important to offer teachers who are not yet comfortable with the technology classes such as the one I am taking. But I think a number of teachers are also concerned about Web content and what may be lurking a click away from a child’s fingers.