Technology in education

technology in education Technology in education is a very good blog for two reasons – it shows how to use Tumblr effectively and it discusses openly and in an interesting way the sorts of issues we all confront with technology in a classroom. As the author states : “However, it is a teacher’s responsibility to actually learn about the technology and use it effectively in a classroom to garner student engagement. ” The latest post Digital Generation Gap looks at how we deal with students doing other things with their devices when they are in class learning. It looks upon it as a generational issue. Every point made hits home and describes exactly the impact it has on you as a teacher and then the thoughts you have. The post is so real. So, how do we react to it, manage it and deal with it? If I find students texting on their phones I hold my hand out and they know I will take the phone and lock it in my filing cabinet for the lesson. I am always clear about what I think about texting in class. With “other activities” I use the argument that is used at the end of the post on the Digital Generation Gap post. If they can do it, well, what if I came into class , texted my friends and family, set them work and did my emails or let them do what they wanted on their laptops so I could get on with my blogging? They understand that. I also say it is very silly to pay me as much as I am paid so they can come to class and text, surf the Net, go on iChat and it is a very silly thing for a teacher to be paid that much while they do as they please…maybe I should! They then get the trust speech. They seem to get that too. When I found some senior students on iChat instead of working on their assignment I asked them to log out of it, but I left myself logged in. iChat is horribly annoying when you have the sound on. It makes all this banging noise when people log in and out. About 10 minutes before the end of the lesson one student couldn’t contain herself any longer and asked me to turn it off. I said that was how often people go on and off of iChat in lesson. We used to use iChat to send each other files until the LMS was up and running and mostly iChat is as the Digital Generation Gap describes. Students see another student they know and just say a cheery hallo. Is there harm in that? No. Is it only that? Don’t have the time to find out. One technician we had in her twenties said we didn’t distinguish between school behaviour and home behaviour with technology. Good point. I have also had student teachers in their 20s who find students doing things other than the set work on their devices abhorrent. We have always had a conversation about how to manage that in class. I have heard of very well credentialled and successful technology teachers refusing to teach any more with technology because students are doing other things. We need to talk about it. We need to get it out into the open. Students are in our care. It is digital citizenship, time and place, financial outlay, cost effectiveness, real time vs virtual time. We do need to establish what we think is a good use of our time , money and devices. Year 8s, for instance, are always very excited to download a French dictionary onto their iPhone or iPod Touch and learn which ones are good. They ask to use their iPhone/iPod and it is something which makes them happy and aware of what are good applications and bad ones. There is no easy answer to this as the Digital Generation Gap quite rightly points out.

2 Responses

  1. Sally, I love this post. It discusses a very important issue, which is the Relevance Gap indirectly. The gap between relevance to students and relevance to teachers is widening. This all negatively affect the bondage between the two parties. I support your call to action wholeheartedly


    • I have read a number of posts now by very well educated and intelligent people who are teaching at secondary and tertiary level and the feeling of frustration is clear. Have laptop – will surf. Have iPhone – will surf. It isn’t just in schools. People in retail are frustrated by customers who are on their mobiles while they are trying to serve them. I had a shop assistant on his mobile while he was trying to serve me – albeit for “important” reasons. Not good enough, really, since you are right. It destroys the bond you can create with others in the real world by virtue of your position. If I am paid to do a job , then I should be doing it and to the best of my ability. If I am paid and my students are doing non related things – why pay me? So yes, the relevance gap is an issue because both sides are becoming – that word – disengaged. It is silly to let technology run the proceedings anywhere. I just think we need to clarify what is appropriate and acceptable behaviour if you are enrolled in a course.


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