This is a late post for me. I am usually more much alert and efficient, but an abscessed tooth and a head cold have sort of sidelined me this weekend. I’m back up now, but I don’t know for how long.
That is enough about that. Let’s move on to the subject of technology, education, and culture. I’m not sure that I have anything illuminating or significant to add to my classmates’ comments. My understanding of the relationship between education, technology, and culture is similar to my classmates. That is, perhaps, because we have essentially lived most of our lives in the same culture.
As educators in this day and time, we are part of a culture that is living and working with cutting edge technology, a circumstance that creates a type of subculture in that we, as a body, are examining what may be the newest and best available teaching tools and methods. In a way, though, I don’t think this is anything new. Teachers have always been parts of a group who try to find new and innovative ways to reach their students, a condition that leads to changes in the ways that students are taught and learn which, in turn, impacts the culture. I should note here that it is likely that some teachers in certain institutions now and in the past have not deviated from the methods of those who came before them nor have they tried to find other creative ways to teach, which forms a cultural norm for these sets of people.
But teachers and technology can’t bring about changes without assistance from the community, which is where the concept of culture comes into play. The community must be supportive of teachers and the technology for real change to occur. The real change could be described as education or a way to move forward that is beneficial to all. The decisions made by members of particular groups about how they will manage their society impacts not only the culture, but also, education and the use of technology.
The daily news often contains stories about disappearing cultural traditions that suggest that we are becoming a homogenized society in the “flat world” of the World Wide Web. It may be a fact that change is occurring all over the world, but that may not be bad. It just may be a type of progress, which to a certain degree could be understood as education. A frequent complaint that I hear about our society in the United States is that television has changed the way that we live and that it has had a bad effect on children. Most of us can probably think of examples of the negative effects of television. But, we should also be able to admit that television has plusses such as its educational programming and entertainment value. All of the components of a television are derived from technology. There is an intersection of technology, education, and culture here. It’s not all bad and it’s not all good. I think that is characteristic of the relationship between education, technology, and culture. Nothing is perfect, but we need learn to manage the technology that is currently available so that we can move forward in as productive manner as possible.