Tech Director Chat #35 – Pedagogy vs Technology

I always try to title each of these episodes with something that captures the majority of the conversation between Pete and myself. It doesn’t always work, as well tend to bounce around a number of topics. And it means that often I have to provide provocative titles that often don’t deliver (although I did deliver on stuffed animals in the previous episode). It’s always interesting trying to talk about pedagogy when using technology, personally because I see so many teachers disengaged with the topic.

Sure, everyone loves to use technology, and the engagement factor is off the charts, blah, blah, blah…but rarely do we every talk about the pedagogy behind the technology. Why are your students writing collaboratively? How are you ensuring that students are participating in an equitable collaborative effort? Honestly, I feel as if many educators would be more than willing to have these conversations, but there just isn’t time in many teachers’ busy schedules to have these discussions. I’m stuck on what I originally pondered in this episode;

Is it better to stay current on pedagogy or technology? How do we distinguish pedagogy from trendy ideology, and should we allow the onward march of technological process to dictate what “is best” for students?

Timestamps for this week’s questions:

1:15 How awesome is Pete’s day so far?

2:50 Will teachers be able to easily connect document cameras to the new technology workstations for the high school and middle school next year?

5:40 Todd from Twitter wants to know, how do you keep current with the ever changing nature of technology?

8:53 Ben admits that he doesn’t keep current with all technology.

11:30 Ben ponders if keeping current on pedagogy is better than keeping current on technology.

12:19 Is there any news on the busses with wifi?

13:43 We ran across some issues with internet miscreants bringing the school’s internet to its knees, unintentionally.

15:42 Future plans for bus purchases with wifi.

18:22 Stump Pete!

19:24 JW wants to know, what is Pete’s home improvement project for the new home?


Tech Director Chat – Pedagogy Vs Technology


  1. Thank you for this episode. It’s always reassuring to hear tech people say that they don’t always keep up with technology. I don’t consider myself to be a “tech person.” I use limited technology in my personal life, but I think many teachers feel forced to keep up to date with the newest app, website, or social media platform. There’s simply not enough time in the day to stay current with it and it can become overwhelming! The analogy with the general practitioner versus specialist is so true! Even though many schools now have a technology educator or media specialist, that’s often not enough to support all teachers and students. And it’s just not possible for general educators to keep up with all of it!
    I completely agree with your sentiment about keeping current with pedagogy rather than technology. It’s important to remember that technology is a tool for education – one of many! Teachers shouldn’t design lessons just to say that they used a new app or website, they should design lessons with purposeful use of technology that will support the intended outcomes. Staying current with trends in pedagogy will allow teachers to filter some of the new technology to use what will be most useful in their classrooms.

  2. I would like to thank you for your thoughts as well. I agree with you and Kathryn that teachers need to follow the pedagogy behind technology and its use in the classroom. Too many times, districts are in a rush to introduce technology into classrooms, with little or no plan on how they will be used. They simply wish to follow the trends of others, and expect their teachers to embrace the change. Two things begin to happen when this occurs. First, the technology interferes with sound teaching, causing students to suffer. There are a few informed individuals that keep informed of the pedagogical changes in education, that embrace the addition of technology and spend countless hours trying to find the best ways to utilize what they have been given. It would be better served if districts would keep its teachers trained as to reasons behind the standards that are required, whether they be Common Core, or others that states have implemented. Our society is changing at a rapid place as a result of technology, making this a global society, rather than individual ones. If education does not adapt to the changes, it will become obsolete. Keeping up with advances in technology, would detract from the knowledge that a teacher must stay abreast of to make sure they can deliver quality and engaging lessons that will benefit their students. I am just beginning a course of studies to obtain a Graduate Certificate in Technology in the Classroom, through Walden University. I have been teaching for 13 years, and have always tried to embrace and use technology in my class. Over the past few years, I have had one-to-one IPads in my class and have struggled to find the best ways to utilize it effectively. While my students have excelled in their writing and reading, which I focus on, I want to learn more how to teach writing through effective use of technology. In just this first week, I can see that the use of Blogs, such as this, are one of the ways that I can engage students in learning how to write effectively. Learning from others and how they have successfully used technology in the classroom setting is important to me. Hopefully, some may have some suggestions that might prove useful in my quest for learning.

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