Technology Tutorials and Help Page

 

 

 

 

Educational Technology Vision

Humans are, among other things, distinguished from other creatures living on this planet by the ability to design, create and modify tools. These tools are always built and used within a cultural and geographical context and have the potential to both improve and harm human and other life. It is the nature of humans not only to invent tools but also use them -- sometimes at our peril.

Educators have always used technology in instruction. The technology is sometimes the object of instruction (how does this work?), sometimes a tool to deliver instruction (video, text book), and sometimes a tool to assist students to explore their world (camera, pencil & paper, word processor, internet).

In the current surge of computer and information technology development, some believe that we must focus our curriculum on teaching students this technology. The words of John Ralston Saul offer a caution to such an about face in our curriculum goals:

"Concentration on technology will simply produce obsolete graduates. The problem is not to teach skills in a galloping technology, but to teach students to think and to give them the tools of thought so that they can react to the myriad changes, including technological, that will inevitably face them over the next decades." (The Unconscious Civilisation, 1995 Anansi Press pg. 66)

The Nova Scotia Public School Program states that public school education in Nova Scotia has two goals:

1.      "to help all students develop to their full potential cognitively, affectively, physically and socially”

2.      “ to help all students acquire the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary for them to continue as thinking, learning, physically active, valued members of society"

Students who graduate from high school with the ability to use their minds well will be in the best position to achieve these life long learning goals.

The tools used to reach these goals are changing more rapidly now than ever before and the skills needed to operate these new tools are dramatically different than many of those of a decade ago. In fact, for many students, the use of assistive technologies allows many students previously disenfranchised, the opportunity to participate more fully in our society.

When all is said and done, teaching is a human activity, which requires respect for the role of both teacher and learner. The challenge facing educators and society at large is to build a more humane society using our machines and imaginations, and not to use technology as a tool to further dehumanise and alienate us. A shovel can be used to plant a seed or to destroy a root.


The following pages, then, should be seen as helpful information for students, teachers and parents alike who wish to explore the tools provided in our schools.

 

This site was last updated 09/14/04