Technology and its many uses in education is definitely an issue worth exploring. Teaching is a very complex field and technology is but one issue affecting teaching and learning in British Columbia. An issue which informs virtually all aspects of teaching and learning at my school is poverty. Maslow's hierarchy of needs tells us that in order to access higher functions in the brain and process information and learn, basic physiological needs such as adequate food, clothing and shelter must be met and an individual must feel safe and secure. Too often my students come to school without having eaten breakfast; cold because they don't have a warm coat suitable for the season; or distraught over an incident occurring at home before class. As a community of educators we are tasked with meeting these physiological and emotional needs so that students are in a mindset where they are able to learn.
Recently a report card on child poverty in the province was issued. Check it out at http://www.bctf.ca/publications/BCTFNews-web.aspx?id=38642#1 I think you will agree that it is sobering. As we invest our energy into creating innovative and more effective models of instruction perhaps we should pause for just a moment and remember that as educators we don't teach reading, math and science. We teach kids. Let's take a moment to understand where these precious souls are coming from when they walk through our doors. They are carrying a lot more baggage than what is contained in their backpack.
Ruby Payne has written several books relating to poverty and education. Her insights have helped me to undergo a paradigm shift and better understand my students and how to help them progress in their learning and life.
Payne, Ruby. Framework for Understanding Poverty: A cognitive Approach. aha! Process, Inc. 2013