Although those of us who work in educational technology talk about how much technology has changed education and how it will change education, it is much harder to explain how it has changed teaching.
If all the technology you use in the classroom were gone tomorrow, how would it affect the way you teach?
Has your philosophy, your pedagogy or your methodology changed in any permanent way?
Take away the computers and the Internet and projectors, your electronic gradebook and all the rest, and I am sure any good teacher could still teach.
There are media stories all the time about people trying to go “cold turkey” on their connections by giving up the Net or their smartphones. It’s difficult, But I suspect that giving up all the technology in your classroom would be easier for most teachers K-20.
Could you go back to paper books, papers, pens, a non-digital whiteboard or easel? Sure, you could. But would you actually teach differently?
I have read several times that if doctors, engineers or even farmers lost all the technology created in the past 30 years, they would have a very difficult time doing their jobs as well using the methodologies of 1983. Not true of teachers?
Yes, this is a very hypothetical question to ask and the technology isn’t going away (except for those short-term situations after disasters). My thought experiment is to take the 2013 math teacher and put her in a 1983 classroom world. How does she teach? Whatever falls away is what technology changed in her pedagogy. Would the science teacher be more affected than the language teacher?
My own personal reflection on this is that as much as I use technology in my preparation to teach and in the classroom, I don’t think my own teaching style has been dramatically changed over the years by technology.
The biggest exception is my online teaching. If that needed to go back to 1983 and some correspondence model of distance learning, it would require a major shift in my content and my methods – but my philosophy and pedagogy would not change as much.