What I have found this week revolves around the importance of utilizing technologies within the classroom and the benefits behind them. I am hoping that with this type of knowledge the parents/caregivers of the students will be more open to sending a their children to school with a device.
When reading a paper on a 1 to 1 initiative that took place in Michigan the authors found that:
In looking at student benefits, the FTL students reported that the laptops helped them learn more and made them more interested in learning. Most students were confident that use of the laptops would increase their future work opportunities. (Lowther, 2012, p. 27)When looking at the engagement of students as an educator that is one of the most important pieces for me. If a student is engaged and interested in what they are doing they will get more out of that particular assignment or reading. What becomes difficult for the educator is how we assess the learning of each student.
Another reason for incorporating technology within the classroom is to help our students prepare for their future. With the every changing landscape of education and the fast paced nature of our society now we need to give our students every opportunity to be working with the potential tools they will be required to master within their careers.
“Learning is complex work and like other forms of skilled and technical work it requires that the person performing the job understand and be comfortable with his or her tool set.” Alberta Teacher 2011The document this quote is from is the BYOD Guide from Alberta. They go on to share some constructive points as to why BYOD is valuable and important.
|Alberta BYOD Guide pg. 4, 2012|
|Photo Credit: ImgFlip|
“High levels of smartphone use by teens often have a detrimental effect on achievement, because teen phone use is dominated by entertainment, not learning, applications.” (Barnwell 2016). But perhaps this is a “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” dilemma. Teens were never asked or charged with using smart phones for learning so their lived experience and reality command a different use. Well-orchestrated and deliberate learning applications for smartphone use in classrooms could change this.
|Photo Credit: Teachers With a Sense of Humor|
I believe Liz posted this article on dealing with digital distraction within the classroom. This is a great way to teach moderation and when technology is appropriate or not. Just because we plan on using technology to help our students learn does not mean that it will always be the most effective mode of transportation for the information we are attempting to share with the kids. Take this article on the spinners as an example. While the concept behind the spinners is meant to aid certain students, but when they are being used improperly they have become a major distraction for many if not the majority of classrooms in every building. I have seen the same thing within my classroom when I use technology. If I am not using the tech in a meaningful, productive, and engaging manner, the students are very quick to using the "tool" improperly.
Finally I leave you with this idea.
Today’s path–a breakneck pace through a required curriculum aimed at enabling students to pass cheap bubble tests—is antithetical to the effective use of technology. Instead, students in East Palo Alto, Greenwich, Mumbai, Shanghai and London should be connected, working together on projects to, for example, analyze acidity in rainfall or traffic patterns or election results.
If we are going to be using the technology, lets make it beneficial, for the students, while creating and developing the skills that we are attempting to develop for their futures.