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Technology Utilization

I’m fortunate to teach in a laptop program. Yesterday, I conducted an orientation session (classroom) to introduce a group of students to online learning. The course will be taught online over the next 12 weeks. These are year 2 students…I was surprised at how technologically illiterate some were (forget all that nonsense about students exceeding instructors in technology…must be a rumor started by students to make a mockery of teachers :) …students and teachers can be equally illiterate). Half a dozen students didn’t know how to send me an email (seriously)…What have you been doing for two years with a laptop?!? As one student put it (hear this often) “I hate computers” (also popular “I hate technology”).

End result: Technology is terribly under utilized in education. I don’t think we need a computer for every student – we need a use for every piece of technology. Why is technology so poorly used? Two potential explanations:

  1. Technology is too advanced for what is needed
  2. Instructors do not know how to integrate technology with curriculum (and, as a result, make learning with technology attractive to students

Bit of each? That answer seems unsatisfying. Do we have more technology than we need? Or do we have less experience with technology than we need?Thoughts??