Technology…from a chalkboard to YouTube to Apps

When I think of technology I think about the internet, computers and the ever changing devices found in our world. The problem with learning on one device, is that in a year the device is likely going to be obsolete. We live in a world where technology is changing faster than we can buy it, this is even more true for our students who have found hundreds of apps that they can download, learn, and use before we even know its a thing. How can we be expected to teach our students about new technologies and ensure they have the newest technology pieces in a classroom, when they are changing before we can learn about them.

The role of teachers went from needing to learn how to use a chalkboard and more than 200 years ago people thought that they were all the rage. They were also the topic of many discussions regarding how the changing of the chalkboard was at times to intense (Karpf, 2012). I would love to see these same teachers now learn that a chalkboard is really nothing more than an app that students can download onto their smartphone or tablet. If a chalkboard was considered to be such a great advancement of technology in the classroom (can we really call it technology?) than what is the overhead, or the projector, or indoor plumbing considered? I doubt that the teachers who were in the classrooms when chalkboard became a thing, could even begin to comprehend that chalkboards are rarely found in classrooms, because teachers would rather have boards with the internet attached to it.Why right notes on the chalkboard when you can either type them and provide a copy for every student, or find a video that tell the same information. The role of a teacher, and the role of a student has changed so much and this is because of the access and used of technology. When teachers no longer need to spend hours writing copious amounts of notes for students to copy down, the time can be spent doing a limitless amount of more productive and intriguing learning.

Who would have thought that a website created in 2005 to show other people your lame webcam videos, would now be used in the classroom to teach students material from a person who is in the top of their field. YouTube opens a whole portal of exploring and inquiring minds. My dad uses it every time he needs to show his students welding techniques because it is easier to pause the video in a classroom to explain, than to complete the entire weld himself and have to explain it later. I used YouTube to learn the material for the majority of Chemistry and Math classes I took in both high school and university, plus I could also find funny cat videos when I needed to de-stress. YouTube is not the unnecessary distraction people once thought it was, it is an educational and knowledge filled site to further learning.

Our students, can teach us just as much as we can teach them. Technology is just the medium that they excel with, while for us it is the ability to find a book in a library. I’m not even kidding, take a class to a public library, give them the code, and ask them to find the book; it will be quicker for them to find the book online, order it from amazon and pay for it with their parents visa, than to actually search for it in a library.

Why search for something, when surely there is an app that can teach you the same thing, through fun games, pictures, videos or activities. Technology is changing the way our classrooms look, and while it creates more complications than a simple chalkboard, it also creates more learning opportunities. So if you don’t know something, don’t worry there is an app for it.

Karpf, J. (2012). The last dramatic instructional innovation? The chalkboard and music education in a historical prospective. Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, 34(1), 62+. Retrieved from

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