Technology is not a learning outcome

Technology purposeTuesday 21st July 2015

A few years ago I walked into a classroom with a local District IT manager.

The class of 9 and 10 year olds were working in groups, all engrossed in producing videos about their chosen topics. Some groups were constructing stop-motion videos, others were outside the classroom conducting hard-hitting interviews with staff. Other students were off in the school workshop constructing items to use in their ‘sets’.

Every student was totally engaged in their activity, and the learning process.

As we left the school, the IT manager (who was ultimately responsible for deciding what technologies were made available to local schools) rolled his eyes, and expressed the kind of thoughts that I have heard all too often from non-teaching staff who support schools – “What a complete waste of time that is – how many of those kids will ever work in the film industry?”

This is the same person who was managing a group of office-bound technicians busily rolling out Microsoft Office to the computers used by these same 10 year olds so that they could “learn to use the tools they will need when they leave school”.

Technology is a tool, not a learning outcome. Bill Ferriter’s poster articulates the issue perfectly.

wazmacTechnology is not a learning outcome