D E L E T I N G   T E A C H E R S'   F E A R S

title | introduction | section one | section two | section three | conclusion and limitations | references

Conclusion and Limitations

I have discussed how the current definition of technological literacy challenges teachers in such a way that they might be dissuaded from using technology in their classrooms. I have also pointed out a means by which technological literacy can be redefined in terms already familiar to the teacher--as a tool to convey multimodal literacy. And I have introduced one such tool, audio/visual ICTs, as a possible means to break through fears that teachers might have about including technology in their classroom.

My position in this paper, that teachers can learn to accept technology if it is presented as a tool that conveys multimodal literacy, is challenged by Leander's (2003) notion that technology cannot be bracketed or isolated from the context that shapes its meaning. Identifying technology as a tool takes away from its ability to make meaning because it is then no longer considered part of the larger social space in which many kinds of geographic and discursive forces interact. Leander suggested that technology is best regarded as part of geographic space that takes into account sociocultural and economic concerns such as access and identity. In this definition of technology, the encroachment of technological equipment onto the teacher's own geographic space, the classroom, presents a very real physical change to the classroom itself. Teachers must face the geographic alteration and integrate it into their classroom identity, and even allow for the notion of a change in classroom power dynamics as a possible result. Or, as I posit, they must perform the mental adjustment of viewing the new geographic shape of their classroom as much like the old, but with a slightly different physical way to get the same jobs done.

I have also not addressed the issue of access to technology. In classrooms that lack access, my hope is that a gradual increase in computer use over time in the surrounding community will result in an increased technologization of its schools. Audio/visual ICTs require more advanced technology than is currently available to most schools. They require the use of several items of technology that might not be widely available to classrooms: high-speed bandwidth, a computer running the latest operating system, a set of speakers, and a webcam. However, for the purposes of this paper, I assert that the technology itself is secondary to what is conveyed. Teachers should feel neither the need to fear nor privilege technological tools in the classroom.

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title | introduction | section one | section two | section three | conclusion and limitations | references