Sunday, September 28, 2014

Technology & Curriculum = Predator & Prey?

This post is part of the 30-Day Blog Challenge from TeachThought. To learn more about the challenge go to

DAY 28: Respond: Should technology drive curriculum, or vice versa?

Like many things in education, I don't think this is an either/or question. In my experience, both of these conditions can be true and also be effective. It's a bit like "the chicken and the egg" question. Technology and curriculum should feed off each other.

One of the topics that my students study during the Ecology unit is predator/prey relationships. Classic relationships of this sort are characterized by an evolutionary "arms race." Over millions of years, predator species evolve to be faster and more powerful to increase their success in capturing prey. At the same time, prey species evolve better camouflage or more toxic poisons to better protect themselves. These adaptations escalate over millennia due to the complex, interweaving relationships between the two species.

I see the relationship between curriculum and technology in much the same light as a predator/prey relationship, minus the antagonistic nature of the relationship. The two spheres push each other to be more powerful, more efficient, more creative, and more diverse.

While this relationship can be beneficial for both technology and curriculum, the one caution I have is that students should not get lost in the shuffle. As both entities continue to push each other to be bigger and better, they still need to keep their focus on what is best for student learning. More technology or new curriculum might be exciting and newsworthy, but if it doesn't help students to ask deeper questions and make more connections, it's not education.

Photo from Elizabeth on Flickr, licensed through Creative Commons.

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