Oh Apple!

The Apple Store always amazes me.

Regardless how many times I have been inside these stores, I always leave with an excited smile on my face, giddy about the technological experience I just had.  Today was no different. I went to exchange a Christmas present, and was immediately greeted by a handy salesmen who was eager to help me.  After telling him my problem, he took total care of me, showing me where to find what I was looking for, and even assisting me in making the decision!  When I was done, Mr. Mac-Employee pulled out an iPhone-ish device, scanned the bar code on my receipt with it, plugged in my contact information, and e-mailed me a receipt all on the same handheld contraption.

And that was it!

That simple.  No standing in line, waiting for things to print, searching through the computer, or handwriting information; just a scan, a quick e-mail, and I was done.

Walking out, I couldn’t help but smile because yet again, technology had proved to be the fastest and easiest thing to use to make everyday situations somehow smoother.

But that wasn’t the only thing this experience made me think; my brief trip to the Apple store was a perfect example of how we should be using technology in schools.

The technology in the store was a tool, a compliment to the sales worker, and a way to make him and what he was doing more efficient- it did not take the sales worker’s place. And that’s exactly how it should be viewed in schools!  No one wants technology to replace the teacher; it should be a tool to help the teacher’s instruction be more effective and meaningful for the student.  Technology is not a substitute for good teaching (or good sales tactics- my salesman was still knowledgeable and friendly),  it’s to be used to enhance learning, expose and open student’s views, and create an instant, collaborative learning environment for today’s children.

Too many teachers fear technology will make them obsolete, make their jobs, their curriculum, their area of expertise not needed, but that is not the case.  Technology, used correctly, should not replace the teacher.  It should improve the learning and motivation in the classroom, and help prepare our kids for the 21st century world where all sales clerks will have handheld devices that scan barcodes and e-mail receipts to customers through their online address book.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Oh Apple!

  1. WOW! Great post… I totally agree with how technology needs to be looked as a tool to enhance learning, not to replace the teacher. I often find that teachers only use tools that they feel will not replace them. For example, many teachers use power point presentations (which are good) as the only use of technology in their classrooms. Isn’t that just a fancy overhead? I think teachers need to embrace all the tools at their fingertips and use them to make learning go smoothly and become real to the students. It will take research on the teacher’s part as well as a change in how they think. I think the challenge will be not incorporating the technology but rather changing the minds and thought process of teachers. I like how you think and LOVED the apple store comparison! Well done!

  2. LOL – your Apple store description made me laugh! I too am often impressed by the newer gadgets that are out there, which is funny, since I work with up-and-coming technology all the time! I also wholeheartedly agree with your insights regarding how technology should compliment teaching, not replace it. “Making teacher’s lives easier” should be a valid enough reason for introducing new tech in the classroom, as the ripple effect this has on students and learning is huge. A happy teacher with more time to devote to reflecting on past lessons, constructing new ones and thoughtfully arranging class activities will surely improve the experience for all. Keep up the great blogging!

  3. Vanessa… thanks! I totally agree with you! How can teacher’s be against something that makes teaching and learning for the students so much easier! Just checked out your blog, and became a follower! Loved the post about twitter!

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