Digital teaching tools seem to offer both efficiency and transformative potential for students. I think they are like most innovations and tools – all are meant to help get a job done more easily and will less effort. When students don’t have to think so much about the behind-the-scenes technology that goes into making the tool as it is, then students can focus on getting work accomplished. the tools we’ve used in class allow us more avenues for creativity and open up communication to communities that had been previously cut off. Sure, we might have been doing fine all along, but we weren’t exploring where our potential could take us. These tools allow and encourage personal exploration and a pushing, if not crossing, of boundaries. It’s exciting!
On the flip side, some people do need to know how to make the tool in order to do the job that is required or desired. How awful would it be if no one could recreate a screwdriver or wrench, such simple mechanical tools, and the technology died out? The same goes for digital and electronic technologies – they need to be understood at a basic level to ensure their continuation; they need to be understood so that improvements can be made for future uses.