TECHNOLOGY and EDUCATION: So What Do You Want It To do?


Technology and Education: So what do you want it to do?


Robert Perkins

Date: Saturday, 20th August, 2011

Time: 18:00–19:30

Venue: 奈良西部公民館 (Nara Seibu Kouminkan):Conveniently located by the south exit of Kintetsu Gakuenmae Station, above Starbucks.

Venue Access/Info:

Cost: Free for JALT members, 500 yen for day members.

In ten years of work at three different universities in two countries, I have rarely escaped being tagged “The Technology Teacher” or “The Tech Guy”. It’s the kind of nickname that immediately establishes in people’s minds that I hold a particular love of technology, and that I only wish to promote its use at every opportunity.  But the name is a misnomer because—though I use technology in ways that are rarely to never seen from my fellow academics—I’m not a technology cheerleader. I don’t believe that technology is the answer to every problem, and I certainly don’t view technology as the fix-all for educators with weak pedagogical foundations.

I don’t intend to give another tired old presentation about, “here is some technology you might try to use!” I’ve seen many such presentations and I tend to find them a) alienating to audience members who do not have a base in using technology already and b) lacking in generalizability and transferability; What works for one teacher in one given environment with a very specific set of variables and skill sets, does not often apply to wider audiences with their own unique needs.

Therefore, please join me for an open discussion of technology’s use in education. I promise to bring everything I have in my bag of tricks. I will go over some of the reasons I use some things, and why I stopped using others. I believe that teachers and administrators have to stop asking what technology can do for them, and start thinking more about what they want the technology to do. What do you think?

Who should attend? Technology lovers, technology haters, the technologically adept and inept can all share a room and take part in the discussion.

What will we discuss? The floor is open and the direction and topics of the discussion will depend on the interests of the group. Possibilities include:

  • The technology that I use: What I love and hate about technology’s use in education
  • I showed you mine…:Share with the room what and how you are using technology in education
  • What is it and how do I use it? Blog, Blurp, Moodle, Mylanta, Podcast, Prezi, RSS, Snizzlesnap, Social Network, Wiki.
    Have you ever thought about having a go at some of these new internet based technologies (two of which I just made up and one isn’t even a technology) but you have no idea what they are or how they work? Let’s talk about it!
  • Questions and troubleshooting: Sorry, I don’t know why your headphone volume switch stopped working.
    It has taken me years of trial, error, searching, and shouting at inanimate objects to acquire the skills and knowledge I have in using technology. Perhaps I can save you some of the hassles I have been through by answering some questions.

Presenter’s Personal Website: and wiki site for classroom material:

Further details of Nara JALT events, reviews and more at:


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2 thoughts on “TECHNOLOGY and EDUCATION: So What Do You Want It To do?”

  1. I’m looking forward to this one. For any other “late-adopters” like myself, this could be a chance to learn what we are missing out on.

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