“Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind” (NIV, 1973/2011, John 1:3-4). The words of John remind us that God is the creator of all. He created this world and he created us, in his very own image. Long before John lived and learned from Jesus’s teachings, Jeremiah said, “But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding” (NIV, 1973/2011, Jeremiah 10:12). God has given us the knowledge to explore our world and to develop technology to improve our existence.
In today’s society, we often think of technology as a relatively new concept, in the terms of computers and the “digital age”. In reality, technology has been around since the beginning, when God first gave Cain the knowledge to build a city (NIV, 1973/2011, Genesis 4:17). Technology is a tool, developed using the scientific knowledge that God has bestowed upon his people. Technology has been gifted to us, and because of that, we have a responsibility to understand it and apply it to our lives and the world around us.
Technology has been a part of the education system for centuries. Teachers have been learning about and utilizing the tools that are available to them for a long time, in the form of textbooks, writing utensils, and even classroom furniture. Teachers not only use these tools in their teaching of young children, but, at the same time, they are training children how to use the tools in their own lives. Since the development of computers and other digital devices in the mid-twentieth century, technology has undergone massive changes. New technologies are being developed at a rapid pace and with each new device, older devices, or tools, become obsolete.
Teaching children to utilize technology is an integral part of preparing students for their own lives, outside of the classroom. Reddy et al. declared that, “When teaching students of the 21st century and preparing them for a career, it is vital to integrate technology into education.” (2020, p. 47). Teachers are obligated to prepare their students to live and succeed in the world and in today’s technological world, that includes preparing them to understand and utilize the technological advances that God as provided to us. Reddy et al. (2020) went on to say that even when the purpose of a particular lesson itself has nothing to do with technology, using technology to teach that lesson can produce amazing results.
The challenge for today’s teachers is keeping up with the new technology and being prepared to utilize them in their classroom. Dogan et al. completed a study in how teachers integrate technology in the classroom. They found that, “As teachers perceived that they have skills in using particular software, they would use that particular software in class more” (Dogan et al., 2020, p. 1326). The more a teacher understands a particular device or program, and feels comfortable using it, the more prepared that teacher is for integrating it into the instruction and guiding the students in their own exploration of it.
Technology has already had an amazing impact on student learning, and it has the potential to have an even greater impact in the future. “Educators and researchers have established a number of ways that integrating technology into teaching can support learning. When these contributions are combined to tackle needs and interests for individual students, technology seems to make the greatest difference” (Roblyer & Hughes, 2019, p. 92). Students are already using technology on a day-to-day basis, through social media, video games, and cell phones. When teachers are willing and able to utilize these tools in their classrooms, students will be motivated to dive into the curriculum and to find creative ways to effectively demonstrate their understanding of the material (Reddy et al., 2020).
Proverbs 16:3 urges us to, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans” (NIV, 1973/2011). As a teacher in twenty-first century, this verse tells me that God has a plan for my life, and to use me in my classroom. He has provided me with technology and is asking me to take that technology and apply it to training my students to become the best that they can be. I have a moral obligation to prepare my students to live and succeed in today’s technological society.
For my own classroom, my students have many technological tools available to enhance their learning experience. Through the use of computer and iPad programs my students and I can collect data, learn and practice skills, and communicate easily and efficiently. I utilize technology everyday when I am preparing lessons for my students by creating personalized worksheets and activities, assessing my student’s progress and maintaining records of their results, researching and applying new teaching strategies, developing interactive experiences through presentations, and finding web or audio/visual materials to enhance my students’ learning experiences. My students have the opportunity to explore adaptive learning environments, which are designed to assess each individual student’s strengths and weaknesses and then create an individualized learning plan to support the student in reaching their educational goals.
With the onset of remote learning, my students and I are meeting remotely through email, phone conversations, and video meetings. We are communicating through Google Classroom where I can post material to a group or to each individua student and my students can then log in complete the activity and submit their work right from their own individual Chromebook. My students have access to millions of books to read online and then they can check their comprehension of the reading materials by completing interactive quizzes and learning activities. They can explore other cultures or experience math, history, or science through interactive informational videos and virtual field trips.
My students come to me with an understanding of the technological tools that they are encountering every day. Many times, the students have a better understanding of the technology that the teacher does, because they are growing up with these tools. If I am not ready and willing to embrace the technology as an effective tool for my classroom, then I would lose my effectiveness as a teacher and fall short of God’s promise to my students and to myself. Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (NIV, 1973/2011).
Dogan, S., Dogan, N. A., & Celik, I. (2020). Teachers’ skills to integrate technology in education: Two path models explaining instructional and application software use. Education and Information Technologies, 26(1), 1311-1332.
Reddy, S. L., Bubonia, J., & Parr, J. (2020). Technology in education: Learning opportunities for teachers and students. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, 112(1), 46-50.
Roblyer, M. D. & Hughes, J. E. (2019). Integrating educational technology into teaching: Transforming learning across disciplines (8th ed.). Pearson.
Created by: Casey Jo Burrus © 2021
updated: January 31, 2021
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