Friday, November 10, 2006

Conduits and Obstacles

In a conversation recently, a friend made a comment about someone else being an obstacle to success rather than a conduit. How does that apply to classroom uses of technology? Are the ways we use technology designed to keep students occupied (obstacles) or are they designed to help students experience growth in their learning (conduit)?

While watching a presentation done by a vendor the other day showing access to online sources that support their printed materials, I was hearing positive comments from others around me and wondering whether they were looking at these sources as conduits to future/further learning. When we provide students with access to "technology" designed purely to occupy their time, we're merely providing what, in the end, will prove to be an obstacle to learning.

The challenge for us as educators is to examine our practices in terms of being either obstacles or conduits to the learning of our students. The pressures of state assessments would subside if we could think in those terms rather than in terms of the amount of content to be covered in order to take a test whose results won't be known for many months.

1 comment:

Miguel said...

Diane, excellent point! I hope you don't mind, I'm going to quote you in an article!

You can read it online at

With appreciation,
Miguel Guhlin
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