Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Arggghhhh - I heard it again!!!!

Yes I heard it again - someone discussing in a restaurant how computers in classrooms are really bad for the students' education.  OMG - please, get in the real world.  We are surrounded by computers, often immersed in them in our daily lives. The are INTEGRATED into our world.  That is right, integrated!  As they should be in the classroom.
Computers and digital technologies do not stop us getting on with our lives - they enhance it.  How awesome to go for a walk with my granddaughter this morning, check out our distance on the phone en route, take a snapshot of the lake and city lights to store in my google photos to look at when I am old and cannot walk any more.

How awesome to be able to google for a friend what colour hood to wear for her graduation so she could look for the right outfit.
How fabulous for my granddaughter to face-time her friend every morning as they get ready for school and discuss everything that teenagers do discuss.  And yes, she still talks to the family here, in fact they all talk to each other.
How amazing to talk for free on Mother's day to my daughter in the outbacks of Australia, and to share the photo of how many steps I walked.  
How astonishing that the team that I work with live from Gisborne to Tauranga to Rukuhia to Taupo and yet we all know each other better than colleagues that I have lived next to in the past.
How empowering to have a professional learning network of over 20,000 NZ teachers on Facebook with whom I can interact daily, along with all the other national and global PLNs I use - VPLD, VLN, etc.
I go back to my previous post and quote my colleague Jan- Marie Kellow, again.
             "Any tool used poorly without a sound pedagogical basis will be ineffective or even damaging. I have seen the effects of digital technology used well and the results are amazing. Far from isolating students it connects them globally and the creative results can be awesome and empowering. 

               As for sitting for long periods, this is certainly not new, just take a look at pictures of classrooms taken in the past, sitting for long periods was certainly the norm then. I would argue that in modern collaborative, innovative classrooms there is a lot less sitting than there ever was in the past. And having devices in a classroom does not mean you can't go outside for PE or sports."

If you are having thoughts that digital technologies in schools are bad for the students, then you need to look again.  Is it the way they are being used in your school?  Ask questions - how are the digital technologies being used in your child's school?

As Andreas Scheicher (OECD head) says "The biggest barrier (to improved outcomes) probably is the delivery in the classroom  - Intelligent use and effective integration (of the technology) - thats where most of the work is needed." 

See - there is that word again - integration!

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE this post and would love to share it on my class blog. Thank you for a well written, balanced blog post. A pleasure to read this checking my 'work' emails at 9.15 on a Tuesday evening.