Retracing Our Steps in the Evolution of Technology

Posted on October 1, 2012 by


As one of the first assignments in Age of Exploration, we were asked to read an excerpt about the style of teaching and learning that we follow in the class, called “Partnering”. It is a unique style of teaching based around the students answering their own questions.  The foundation and core of this teaching style avoids long lectures and instead focuses on teachers guiding questions so we can find answers. It allows the students to learn in the way that is most effective for themselves and can improve the students ability to manage their time. In this generation this involves connecting on the internet and finding useful information from different resources, as well as presenting to the audience, usually using the internet or other forms of technology to do so.

When I read an except from Teaching Digital Natives by Marc Prensky, I got to fully understand how and why this method of teaching works and I also considered the questions I had and developed a more thorough opinion. Personally, I grew up learning on a pencil and paper. Everything written. I didn’t start using technology until middle school. Our school and learning is based strongly on technology which changes greatly from year to year. I am very used to having discussions and copying notes on paper, but as this world keeps adapting, I also have to adapt to teaching styles and how I am getting information. Because of this, one of my favorite and least favorite parts of the partnering style is the focus on technology. It is very hard to change the way you learn, but in the future such as college: the long term projects, time management, and collecting information from the internet will all play a major role in my personal education and getting the practice I need is crucial and will lead me to more success as a student.

Technology is now not only used as a way to find information, but also a way to share it with others. When I look back onto my learning career, the projects that I have presented and viewed are what I remember most vividly in terms of the information and main point. The only difference is that not all of them were on a PowerPoint or another form of technology, in fact most of the ones I remember used no technology at all.

In Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds, he tries to explain the features of a good presentation and how to make it interesting and memorable to the audience. As Seth Godin says, “Communication is about getting others to adopt your view.” This whole idea of interacting and communicating with an audience is centered around keeping them engaged and wanting to see what is coming next. Technology can help with this, but I believe there has to be the element of interaction. Personally, that is was helps me remember information. For the presentation to be worthwhile with technology, the technology has to help in making it easy to understand and intriguing (for example a video). Keeping the listeners and students intrigued is the priority, in result of a good presentation, they remember the information, understand your point, and can even want to find out more.

This article led me to think: What about presentations without a PowerPoint? Where do those fit in? If it is interactive and captures the core values of a good presentation, I believe that it would create an even greater connection to the audience. Why is it that we are so intrigued with PowerPoint (PPT) or how many different pieces of technology we can use that we don’t go back to the basics? It would be more unique and give them something to remember. The benefit of PPT is the fact that images are shown simultaneously, but would a way of acting it out and having them participate work better?  When I am watching a presentation and getting a main idea or information from somebody, I want to get involved and really experience the feelings of the situation.

Depending on how we find information and connect, technology or a raw presentation can work. Both have powerful impacts when done right, but which is the most intriguing to the audience? The live demo/presentation takes a lot more work and creativity to pull off (it can’t just be a speech), but does the hard work pay off? What kind of presentation do you enjoy most as a viewer? With all these changes that have happened throughout my short life time, it makes you think… What will we have to adapt to next?

Posted in: Learning, Technology