Technology or teaching?

As many schools and district work toward becoming FutureReady, some schools are purposefully staying out of the digital learning game. The article, Tablets out, Imagination in, and (it suggests) the staff at the described schools, prefer a “hands-on, experiential approach to learning” that they believe is contradictory to the practice of having high-tech devices in the classroom.

It is interesting that the educators quoted in the article seem to shun technology for many of the same reasons that the early adopters advocated for it in the first place: promoting creativity, engaging students in learning, and encouraging thinking skills. Many of the mentions of why they do not use technology cited in the article are, frankly, not particularly good uses of technology, like “fill in an Excel spreadsheet” or “show a series of images on the screen.” That is not what effective technology integration looks like. If a teacher has students filling in numbers in boxes on a piece of paper, or looking at a series of photographs with no specific guidance or purpose, that is not good instruction either, even though there is no technology involved.

All of the examples that are mentioned as benefits of going tech-free are teaching approaches and learning outcomes included in the ISTE technology standards. The emphasis should always be on purposeful use of resources and tools and research-based, effective instructional approaches, whether technology is included or not.

So is the issue the technology, or is the issue instructional methods? Seems like the latter. Would love to hear other opinions on the topic.