Tech-Know or Tech-No?

There have recently been many technological advances and updates in the classroom and in schools recently, from iPads to Chromebooks for kids, to Smart Boards and new desktop computers and sometimes Chromebooks for teachers as well. They do, have, and will improve student learning and do help us learn to use technology that we don’t teach ourselves. They’ve been labeled as a distraction as well, and I agree they could be if the privilege is abused, but when used correctly, its a great use. Teachers could abuse their privileges as well, by using them the way they say we do, for other things than intended like school. Anyone, student or teacher, can misuse technology.

From games to Youtube to anything that doesn’t pertain to homework or teaching. The blocking of sites on schools wifi is one way to help stop the misuse of new age equipment, but they can only block so much, and they already do block possibly too many websites, ones that could be helpful when actually doing work and when researching. The multitude of sites blocked knows no bounds. But alas, it is just for us to stay on task and to stay as safe as we can online. It is possible for students and teachers to misuse their new age technology when there is possibly too much of it.

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In the early 2000’s, Duke University economists Jacob Vigdor and Helen Ladd tracked academic progress from kids that were allotted network computers for 5 years, and they found that “Students who gain access to a home computer between the 5th and 8th grades tend to witness a persistent decline in reading and math scores,” and that their grades lowered (Pinker 2015). They as well concluded, that adults would be just as distracted. The fact that these types of different innovations are labeled distractions as much as they are, isn’t ridiculous, but it isn’t correct either. There are truly great uses for these things, even such as this essay or as a teacher improving their teaching. Essay typing has never been better. Research hasn’t before been easier.

Teaching hasn’t ever been as easy to do and teaching resources have never been more abundant to help students learn and teachers teach, and learning has been made simpler, better, and easier to do. The learning experience has honestly probably never been better for the student, and for the teacher. Susan Pinker. “Can Students Have Too Much Tech?” New York Times pg. A27.

January 30 2015.