Op-Ed: Why the Traditional Low-Tech Classroom Isn’t Enough Anymore

101039755When you see buzz about education technology – like our recent feature on President Obama’s ConnectED Initiative – do you find yourself wondering why it matters? Do students really need laptops or tablets? And are agenda apps and digital textbooks really necessary?

If you feel this way, you’re certainly not alone – it’s hard to see the point of changes when you have firsthand knowledge of how the system worked before it was changed. Parents who grew up handwriting notes from an overhead projector may understandably be skeptical of the need for SmartBoards and tablets, since the absence of these devices did not detract from their own education.

In a recent op-ed on Edutopia, Baby Boomer and lifelong educator Tom Whitby addresses this skepticism. He argues that while the pencil and paper were perfectly adequate tools for a 20th-century education, a 21st-century education needs more. The world of technology that exists outside the classroom, in students’ daily lives and in their future careers, necessitates the inclusion of such technology in their education. His argument is directed at teachers, but parents seeking to understand the necessity of technology in their children’s classrooms will also find the piece to be of interest. It is both brief and eloquently written, and well worth the read.

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