A friend of mine told me that a student tour guide at a college he recently visited said, “This is an English Class so it really doesn’t require technology.”
I replied, “#offended. I use more technology than any other teachers on my campus.”
As irritated I was by the tour guide’s statement, however, I think there is some truth to that statement. I feel that many English teachers are either afraid of technology or dismissive of it. I believe this comes from the limited and incorrect view of who we are.
I believe that we – English teachers – shouldn’t teach English. As a matter of fact, I rarely teach “English.” Instead, I construct a learning environment where students can acquire effective communication skills, be it writing, reading or speaking. I have never taught Romeo and Juliet. Rather, I utilize various Shakespearean tragedies to help my students learn the function of literature in the Elizabethan period. I use Lord of the Flies to help my students understand the need for societal structures for humans to maintain humanity.
Just as math teachers teach computational thinking, English teachers teach communication skills. And since technology is one of the best tools of communication, it should be used in every English class.