Thursday, September 9th, 2010 | technology
In ancient times elephants were employed in Asia to do labour, but white elephants were regarded as holy. When you owned one you had to feed it a special diet and allow access to anyone wishing to visit and worship it but you were not allowed to use it for work purposes. As a useless burden a white elephant became a metaphor for any possession that is more trouble than it’s worth.
Technology has the potential to be a white elephant – if it is not used it clutters your classroom without bringing any benefits. How can you avoid this situation?
Don’t be seduced by the technology itself. Initially a device may be presented to you as something that would inspire and excite learners and transform your classroom magically. Technology can never do that – it is only a teacher who can make the difference. Technology plays a supportive role and provides an excellent medium to improve teaching.
So what can you do? When you think about acquiring a piece of technology apply some reality therapy:
- Become convinced of the value of the item. If you see it through skeptical lenses, it will seem like a white elephant to you – change the lenses and the colour will change and you will see its true potential.
- Debunk the myths about technology. There is nothing sacred or mystical about it – it is there to be used in practical and simple ways.
- Learn to use all the features of the device. Ignorance is often the main reason for technology not being used optimally.
There are different degrees of white-elephantness of classroom technology – it can range from total non-use, through a spectrum of under-utilization. You can’t change the colour of a white elephant – but you can change the way technology is used.
The elephant in your classroom is in your hands – you can paint it any colour you like.
5 Comments to How can I make sure technology won’t become a white elephant in my classroom?
- Education has been in a downward spiral for some time ... has it now gone into free fall? Tweeted 3 days ago
- Whose responsibility is it to train teachers to use classroom technology? wp.me/p23NXx-6H Tweeted 3 days ago
- @markcarolissen Latitude allows for expanding the mind and to develop workable solutions ... I applaud you for using the opportunity. Tweeted 4 days ago
- @neiltyson @RichardDawkins Fortunately ample data is available in the physical world around us to support belief in creation and a creator. Tweeted 4 days ago
- Moving from a no-technology classroom to one that is rich in technology is not an easy journey ... but it's possible. Tweeted 4 days ago
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