“Please hear this loud and clear: we’re not taking about getting rid of schools. We are, however, talking about seriously rethinking the way they work to meet the needs of the current realities our students face.” (Richardson & Mancabelli, 2011) As I sit in my math lab behind a computer watching the online tutor teach me slope-intercept form, this new age of technology becomes more apparent. While reading this chapter my mind was constantly questioning: if we can get taught online why do we need math teachers? With all of my homework and tests online does that make my math teacher useless? Of course not, it makes for a new generation of learning you can do outside of the classroom. As an aspiring teacher myself, I took this new generation change from teaching to technology with much hesitation. I do not want my future career to be outsourced by a computer.
Throughout the reading I realized that teaching is not being outsourced, but more innovated. The part of the chapter that stuck out the most to me was the section titled “Network Effects.” To be truthful, I never understood the need for technology in a classroom. As a child, I remember being the kid who always minimized the screen of matching vocabulary words and played Oregon Trail instead. With that mindset, when I read the real advantages of technology in classrooms it was eye-opening. The seven common traits that schools that use technology have are:
1) Students are better prepared for life and work in the 21st century.
2) Classrooms are more engaging.
3) Students are responsible for their own learning.
4) Instruction is more individualized.
5) Adults become better at their jobs and build problem- solving capacity.
6) Students are safer.
7) Schools save time and money.
Each trait is explained in further detail in the book, but the trait that made me question the most is the students are safer. Normally you hear parents complain that their child is online and it is not a safe place for them. But in current day we can almost assume that most if that all school children are using the internet. With the addition of an internet safety class kids can learn to be safe online. This chapter opened my eyes to different aspects of online teaching that I was not aware of before. This information will be useful to me as a future teacher and I will hopefully be able to incorporate technology in my classroom.