Should educational technology be treated as a separate subject?'s Teacher Poll of the Week
Should educational technology be treated as a separate subject?

View Results

The results for this poll were very close, with only a slight majority believing that educational technology should be treated as a separate subject. The idea behind the subject is to improve student performance by using technological resources. Many schools and teachers currently use computer software programs to aid student learning in a way that is designed to be fun and interactive. One example is a program used to teach typing skills. As letters fall from the top to the bottom of the screen, the students aim to keep up with the letters by hitting the appropriate keys.

The bigger picture for educational technology comes in the form of teaching the students how to use the technology that is currently available so that it will aid them in the future. Learning typing skills is great, but many careers now require you to be comfortable with databases, spreadsheets, graphics programs and slide show presentations. Gaining a basic understanding of these types of programs is invaluable in the modern world. The question raised is whether this learning is incorporated into existing teachable subjects or whether it becomes a subject all of its own.

Obviously, as the results of this poll show, teachers are undecided as to the answer of that question. Do you show students how to create a power point presentation in order to produce a slide show of ancient Egypt? Or do you teach them a more in depth lesson in power point so that they may use it later when they study Egypt? It's a dilemma. Compounding the issue may be the fact that teachers are sometimes hard pressed to cover the required curriculum depending on class structure and ability. Trying to incorporate another subject into an already overcrowded timetable is a challenge.

Elementary versus secondary school also makes a difference. Unless educational technology was a core course required for graduation, secondary students would need to choose to take the course as an elective. Elementary students usually don't have electives so introducing an entirely different subject means taking time away from something else.

One thing is certain: technology is here to stay. How we deal with it and how teachers pass the knowledge on to their students is still a work in progress.