Q:

My son is in a history class where so much of the teaching seems to come from technology. Does so much technology belong in the classroom? -- Worried

A:

Digital technology plays a major role in many of today's classrooms. However, even though students are on their computers, iPads, iPhones and other devices finding new information, the debate still continues over whether technology can or should partially or entirely replace the face-to-face interaction of teachers and students.

Of course technology belongs in the classroom. It provides access to far more resources and experts than any textbook or teacher can. What is essential is that the teacher in a history or any other class guide the students to the content that relates to a particular class in the enormous sea of information that now exists. Then the teacher must interact with the students to help them reflect on what they have learned. In other words, the key to learning is the guidance that a teacher provides to help his or her students acquire critical thinking skills.

For technology to be used appropriately in a classroom, it is essential for school personnel to be supported by their administrators and to receive appropriate training.

It is possible that your son is using considerable technology in his history classroom because the teacher is employing flipped learning. In this case, the traditional lecture is replaced with viewing videos online and then having a guided discussion in the classroom.