Respond: Should technology drive curriculum, or vice versa?
Definitely vice versa!
Don’t get me wrong – I love involving tech in my classes. There are so many excellent apps out there to get kids speaking with confidence, writing creatively, and using the language in authentic ways. But the technology is definitely a tool for making my classroom more relevant, interesting, and fun for my students. The most important thing is my ability to teach effectively. Many times, that involves breaking out the iPads, but technology is definitely not the end game for me.
If you took all my tech away today, I would still be a good teacher. I do not sit down to plan lessons and think “How can I use technology today?” I ask myself “How can I get kids saying what they like in Spanish?” or “How can I motivate my students to learn animal words?” Sometimes (many times; almost every time) the answer involves some kind of technology, but that’s because I have it available. Without iPads and projectors, I would print the internet out page by page for these kids. I would play the music without the videos. We would still get by.
I want my students to be confident when they need to use an iPad for work. I want them to know what it means when someone says “Bring up ____.com” and how to do that without saying “How do I get there?” I want them to be “21st century citizens”, but more importantly than that, I want them to speak Spanish. I want them to understand Spanish. And that is what drives my curriculum.
No doubt, technology makes my life as a teacher much easier, but it most certainly does not drive what I teach or when. Or, truly, even how. Tech makes ways to practice easier to find, but I’m sure I could do it without. Not that I want to, of course.