What’s the value of using technology to mask content students don’t find interesting?

I was reading an article Scott McLeod linked to on Mind Dump, about a teacher and the use of an IWB in the classroom.  The part of that article stood out most to me was when Jamie Long, a math major and secondary ed minor at Stonehill College said: “At the very least it made it more interesting and made more people pay attention.”  While this may be true, this shouldn’t be the role of an IWB or any educational technology.  The technology shouldn’t be the thing that captivates and holds student attention.  Relevance should be doing this!!  Technology in any form is merely a tool used to make learning easier, it shouldn’t be what makes students want to tune in and listen.  Repackaging the same ineffective lesson using technology doesn’t make the lesson any better.  It just makes it an ineffective lesson using technology.  If we are really serious about engaging the students in our classrooms, then we need to make the lesson authentic for them.  It may not be easy and will likely take some time, but if our end goal is to have students engaged in a meaningful learning environment, then we need to elicit passion in the things they care about and put the content in a meaningful perspective for the student.


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