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Technology is a Language not Just a Tool

The success of last week's assignment made me realize that technology is not just a tool that makes learning easier for our kids ... technology works because it is their language! Now all languages in order for it to be effective has to have meaning, it can't just be a random combination of words. Language that does not communicate any meaning is useless rambling. Now as teachers if we want to communicate meaning to the students it has to be in their language. In a way we are like missionaries in a foreign territory and the first thing missionaries did upon arrival was learn the language of the people, sometimes even create an alphabet for them so they could translate the Scriptures and prayers. Well, if we too want to influence our audience and convince them of ceratin truths (like proper punctuation)  we better start learning the language of technology. The mark of proficiency in a second language is when you can go beyond simply translating to composing. So when you integrate technology in your class are you simply translating what you already had or are you composing new lessons in the language of technology? Are we as educators involved in developing new software and tools that suit our purpose just like the missionaries would write their alphabets? If you think you students are still speaking English take a look at their world! They are digital citizens in a digital world surrounded by java and flash content since they were born. So let us go ahead and start writing and speaking in a way they can uncderstand, in the only language they will bother to listen!

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