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Too Much Technology
In recent years the push for technology in schools has been astounding. Word has it that our district, which is continually in the red financially, will be moving to 100% on-line text-books within two years. My question is, not where will they get the money to purchase the hand-held electronic devices, but where is the money going to come from to maintain and service all this technology? Alarmingly, usually from programs and courses that are deemed “out-dated.”
In the late 70 ‘s vocational education gave way to keyboarding and computer classes. Is the same wave of narrow-minded thinking going to decimate the arts in favor of technology as well? We have already had a taste of it with our photo classes. We have been alerted to a movement in our district to eliminate wet labs and replace traditional photo classes with digital. Multimedia classes in our district are considered a fine art, when in reality, they are not. Multimedia is another name for graphic design which is and always will be an applied art. People who are initiating these changes know nothing about the arts, yet their capricious decisions will affect students and the arts for years to come.
Technology is just one tool of many in arts education. It should not be used as a replacement or a solitary “upgrade” in any arts course of study. Students should still be learning how to play a musical instrument, not just create the music of one on a synthesizer. Perhaps the most frightening part of all of this is that the current generation is clueless about what they are missing by just using technology alone as a learning tool. Will the arts be swallowed by impersonal soft and hardware or can we maintain the human side of the humanities that we teach?