What to do with technology in the classroom - make it more or less visible?

stanner's picture

Last class, we had "goal of education: make technologies more visible" written on the board.  I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if we tried to do the opposite instead.  Instead of making technologies more visible, what if we tried harder to integrate them into the classrooms or students themselves as invisible.  I'm not so sure that there is a clear answer of which one would be more beneficial, but it’s something interesting to think about.  

Making technologies more visible would be directing students to look back on old technologies, some that they take as givens and some that have become seen as outdated, and going back to their sources to seeing what they are missing, what has gotten lost along the way as these old technologies have evolved.  Making new technologies less visible would mean integrating them more into the way students learn, think, and exist.  It would mean not having to work around the projector screen that is blocking the blackboard, but rather working with it by learning and teaching how to use it well enough that it too becomes invisible. 

It’s not too obvious to me that taking invisible technologies, like language and other technologies we use without having to think about how to use them, and helping students backtrack in a way to think about them more would be that beneficial.  During class I was thinking that integrating newer technologies into the classroom when possible, and embracing them and learning how to use them so well that they become invisible could be more beneficial than trying to go back to focus too much on older technologies.

But then I was wondering if education actually has anything at all to do with making technologies more or less visible, or if their visibilities are given facts based on where society is up to.  If that is the case, then it seems to me that education is about teachers using all technologies, at whatever visibility levels they are at, in the best way possible to educate their students. 

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