On a recent trip to the HP Innovation Centre in Geneva i was really interested in the question of whether teaching is shaped by technology, or whether teaching is shaping technology. I came away with the impression that it is the former, but should be the later.

We heard a talk from the European Head of Smart Technologies (the company behind the Smart interactive whiteboard (IWB)), which was all very interesting and showed off some nice features of the Smart board, but it missed the crucial point about teaching pedagogy. The whole premise of an IWB is that it puts the teacher at the front of the class, and makes the lesson teacher-centric. This to me seemed like a clear example of the kind of pedagogy we are trying to move away from, and highlighted to me that the technology companies just ‘don’t get it’. It was a case of the teaching fitting the technology. I was really looking for the tech companies to be responding to the education sector, rather than trying to just ‘give’ the sector the tech the company thinks teachers and schools want. I was looking for a move towards more student-centric technology. 

Teachers are moving away from front of the class teaching, and that is what IWBs almost ‘force’ you to do. I am looking for flexible, dynamic, anywhere in the room technology that will help my teaching pedagogy, not push me back to the board at the front (be that a black, white or interactive one).