Most of my students have had access to technology for their entire lives. They’ve had cell phones since they were in elementary school. They know how to tweet, snap-chat, instagram, etc. However, what they do not know how to do is be selective and smart about the technologies they use. Students today lack the ability to critically decipher through the “hits” they find on a Google search, and many do not understand the concept of a digital foot-print.
For example, I’ve noticed that I have to explicitly tell my students that they have to search beyond the 1st page of a given search result. I’ve also noticed that my students are willing to print off any piece of information even if it doesn’t necessarilly “fit” the task at hand. During research paper time, students will come to me having high-lighted a four page article, but yet the source they’ve high-lighted is a Yahoo News! report; I’d hardly call that an academic source.
After dealing with this for the past few years, I’ve designed lessons, check-lists, creative chants, etc. that I feel have helped my students understand how to decipher if a source is good for the task at hand. However, I don’t think it’s “fair” to only teach these skills in an English class. I often find myself wondering if this is a skill that other non-English teachers think is necessary, and if so do these teachers take the time to explain these skills to these students?
Another thing that I’ve had to talk about with my students are their digital foot-prints. I can’t fathom how they don’t understand how everything they’ve said can be traced back to them. I’m tempted to show them on the over-head projector, but I don’t want to embarrass any of them while they’re in my class.
How are you dealing with these issues in your classroom? Do you explicitly address these issues? Should we incorporate these lessons into a specific course (think a 8-9 week course on social networks, internet safety, critical research, etc), or gradually pull them in when it seems natural to do so?
A Magazine is an iPad that Does Not Work
Technology in schools has been reported to be a good idea for many reasons:
· These interactive games are more interesting to students and allow them to be engaged for longer
· Students advance to different levels, through the game, at their own pace
· This allows students to have technology at their fingertips and allows them to access their education at any time, furthering their learning
Boromir’s right, you guys. Most people can’t afford to just go out and buy an iPad for their children to keep up in school. So what’s being done?
To account for the children that do not have access to these technologies, money is being put into the schools to allow them to purchase additional wireless devices to maintain equity.
“If technology is seen as the vehicle for learning, it needs to be accessible to everybody,” said Kugler, of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. “That means there has to be enough tablets or laptops to serve every child that needs one.”
This allows students to bridge the gap between the limited technology at school and the use of technology at home
An interesting article about BYOD in Peel schools.
It is important to utilise technology and steer kids in the right direction when using technology. “It’s easier to steer a camel in the direction it is already headed.” In this era it is headed into an increase in technology use.
As long as a plan is in place for how technology is being used this can be done by:
Make sure you meet the requirements to gain the connection
Provide training for staff and inform parents of the changes in the classroom
Select resources wisely
MAINTAIN EQUITY IN THE CLASSROOM
What do you think?
Asked by Anonymous
Great question, anon! According to School Advocacy Hamilton, advocacy is “the efforts of an individual or group to effectively communicate, convey, negotiate or assert the interests, desires, needs and rights of yourself or another person.” So an education advocacy group would speak up for the rights of students and work with schools to ensure students get the services they need. Several groups do advocate for the use of technology in schools, especially when it comes to accessibility. I’ve made a few posts to give you an idea of how some groups are responding to this issue. I hope that helps!
LDAO is offering a great workshop this May about how to use handheld devices to support learning in a number of different ways for all students. Only five dollars to attend!
OFHSA: “Congratulations to HWDSB teacher (and personal friend) Sean Kelly, recipient of the Hamilton IEC (Industry-Education Council) Excellence in Teaching Award. Check out his link - part of the reason Mr. Kelly was recognized…besides being a really nice guy! Way to go Sean!!!”