We Must Harness Technology

Wigren, Harold E.
May 1968
Educational Leadership;May1968, Vol. 25 Issue 8, p708
This article suggests educators to harness the positive aspects of technology for effective teaching. The terms "educational technology," "systems approach," "computer-assisted instruction," and "teaching machines" invoke in the minds of many educators a cold and mechanistic approach to education, leaving little room for human values. "Educational technology," however, has a much broader meaning than the term connotes. It refers not only to hardware and software but also to the overall process whereby the most efficient use of all resources for learning--both human and material--is made in a deliberate effort to match scarce resources to basic educational needs. When resources are combined into a system, the process becomes instead a commonsense approach to achieving a much-needed balance among the various elements of the teaching-learning process. Whatever the situation, one thing seems clear: the teacher no longer needs to be the mediator of all learning in the classroom. Children can, and do, learn through other resources directly. The teacher should have the right, however, to say what parts of the curriculum should be mediated and what parts should not be mediated. A systems approach, properly conceived, can-and must-provide ample opportunities for decision making on the part of both the teacher and learner to ensure that each develops to his full potential.


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