Schools, Students, and Technology

16 Jul

Image I recently read Katrina Schwartz’s Mind/Shift post, “Schools and Students Clash Over Use of Technology”, which outlined the results from a survey of over 400,000 students, parents and educators regarding their views on technology use in the classroom. The report showed a contrasting view of what technology is appropriate in the classroom, with students wanting the ability to access social media sites and use smartphones in class, and 52% of administrators stating that they will not allow these uses of technology in their schools.  Ms. Schwartz suggests that administrators should make the Imageconnection that allowing students to use this technology will enhance their learning. Although, I agree with the benefits of integrating technology into the classroom experience, I don’t agree that all technology is suited for the classroom.  Even though this survey cited that 46% of students have used Facebook to collaborate on a project, we need to remember the obvious:  that is not what Facebook is for!  I don’t believe that a social media website is the best tool for project collaboration and think that using Google Drive would be a much better alternative.  In regards to allowing personal mobile devices, I am torn.  If it’s a tablet, I think it would be much easier to manage, however a room of students with smartphones just screams distraction!  I see them sending texts and checking facebook throughout the lesson.  If there is a full proof way to manage their use and make sure they are not using it for personal reasons, then I am in.  I believe these devices can be a huge motivator and a way to teach 21st century learning skills; I just worry about the execution.

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One Response to “Schools, Students, and Technology”

  1. Ms. Yuska July 17, 2013 at 3:16 am #

    I completely agree with you. I’m torn on whether I agree smartphones should be allowed in a classroom or not. I believe they have the ability to enhance learning in an innovative way and since smartphones are where kids and teenagers in particular spend a lot of their time, using them in the classroom is a tool to really engage them. However, on the opposite side, smartphones in a classroom can become a huge distraction and a learning barrier. For example, in the class I’m observing this summer, one student uses an iPad for help with communication and it causes quite the distraction among the other students – they are constantly curious about what he’s doing and what’s on his screen. Also, I remember sitting in undergrad classes trying to discretely scroll through Facebook, etc. and completely missing the lesson at hand. Overall, while smartphones in a classroom can be a distraction, making sure the students understand their expectations of phone use and the consequence of not appropriately using their devices can help to combat the distraction component.

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