Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Technology accessment of educators and students

Is there a need to assess the knowledge and skills that educators have with technology?  What about the skills of our students with regard to knowledge and skills of technology?  Of course there's a need to access these areas.  First of all we must know, as educators, where we stand in regards to the use, instruction, and professional development of technology.  As educators we must know how to use the equipment we are working with.  This quote from, Document management tools Quick tips for saving time space and patience (McLeod) states, "A quick scan turns my memos, articles, reports, monthly bills, and other papers into searchable PDF or Microsoft word documents. I then can throw the papers into the trash or shredder, knowing that I can retrieve them digitally in just a few seconds-and the amount of paper I have lying around is drastically reduced."  Now if an educator sees this quote and can't make out what a scanner is then this article will not be much help to that educator.  We must assess what our educators know so that they can be taught through, professional development, the skills needed to help our young people grow in our advancing society.  Students also need to be tested in order to see what level of technology they are proficient at.  If we are going to effectively educate students on using technology to further their education then we need to know where to start.  Our society has evolved from a "passive consumer based culture to a participatory, production based culture." (Richardson)  This means that our students no longer learn from being told how to complete a task or solve a problem, but rather they learn from analyzing and breaking down the problem first in order to find a viable solution.  While there are many pros to assessing the knowledge of our teachers and students, such as a starting point and what they need to learn, there are a few cons as well.  What if an educator/student thinks they are very knowledgeable about technology and after being tested they find out they aren't as proficient at it as they thought.  This could derail their enthusiasm to learn more aspects of technology causing them to shut down to the idea that technology is going to be a helpful component of learning.  Another con for an educator or student may be a limited resource of technology at home.  If they come from a economically disadvantaged home they may feel that devices of technology are out of their reach causing them to feel inferior to other students.  Educators could be in a similar situation due to lack of funds available in their district which causes them to think they will miss out on technology advances and resources.  All of these situations could be averted if we assess what students and educators first know about technology, and educate both groups on how to use it and acquire technology in their school district.

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