Very rarely do things ever live up to the hype, especially in terms of education where every few years there is a new idea that everyone tries to emulate. The hype of educational technology is a difficult one to breakdown, because it encompasses so much and continues to evolve as technology is continually moving forward. Also, we can not merely hope technology will be the solution to save the U.S. education system or the achievement gap as raising standardized test schools universally. The best educational technology can be ineffective if placed in a learning community that is not properly trained or does not use it properly. Unsuccessful products are being sold alongside those that are conducive to the learning process, so what happens to those unfortunate districts that buy useless technology and are stuck with it until there are funds to replace it. Or worse, teachers becoming dependant on the technology to do their jobs for them, and lose the motivation to be creative and invigorate the minds in front of them.
Educational technology offers a lot in the way of assisting all levels of education from the district offices to the students, yet is all of this technology able to take the place of traditional classroom learning? My immediate response is an emphatic no, because I believe that a blended learning model is best. Some of my greatest learning moments have come while outside of the classroom and far from educational technology, unless you count the bus that got me there. As a kinesthetic learner, exploring historical sites or visiting museums had much more value for me than looking it up on a computer. Experiences can be much greater teachers than anything technology can do for us, though it is useful. Not everyone has the fortune to be able to take field trips or give their students the experiences that others have. As a high school educator I feel it incumbent upon myself to prepare my students for the next part of their lives, while teaching my content material. Technology is an enormous part of our society and the way we live our lives, therefore as educators we must equip our students to the best of our abilities with the tools that we have at our disposal.
Ultimately, as educators we must use educational technology, but it is our responsibility to govern ourselves and use it appropriately. We must find the technology that best serves our learning communities needs, and use it to aid in the teaching process and not control it. As educators, it is our duty to teach to the whole student and I do not believe educational technology can do that. The more technologically integrated we become as a learning community, the less human interaction we have with one another.