Back when I was in senior in high school, I always hated when last year’s seniors (who were then college freshman) would come from college to visit us youngins in the high school. Why you ask? Because if they visited us in PE class they would say “oh man, I’m too old for this! I can’t do this anymore!” Or if they visited us in History class they would say “oh my gosh, you guys are learning about the Civil War? Haha, I remember doing that. Losers.” They always pissed me off because they would think one semester away at college turned them into learned doctors and old fogies that couldn’t run a lap, when in reality they actually don’t remember the Civil War and gained the freshman 15.
I don’t really remember why I started this blog with that story. OH wait, yes, I remember now. It’s because now that I have been out of high school for 5 years, it’s OK for me to be an old fogie that can’t run a lap without gasping for breath (not joking) and can’t remember who won the Civil War (joking) and gripes about technology (not joking).
In a blog from earlier this week, I talked about how the word “bully” was the newest buzz word. Well, I think it’s safe to say that “technology” is also a huge buzz word, but for good reason. Technology moves at such a fast pace; the iPhone 39 SX is coming out tomorrow.
I have mixed feelings about technology in the classroom. I like it if it serves an educational purpose; I don’t like when teachers try to incorporate as much technology as possible in order to show how much technology their students can juggle. At that conference in Casper that I went to last week, the guy that won the best presentation award was a technology guru. He showed a picture of one of his students holding a cell phone in one hand, an iPad in the other, and a laptop on the desk in front of her. He was so proud of his student; she could manage all these devices and ensure us that she was doing something educational on each device. This kind of stuff irritates the bajeezus out of me. To me, that’s not doing the right thing with technology.
What’s the right thing to do with technology you ask? Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher know the answer! They published an article in the NCTE English journal, volume 97, No. 6, July 2008 titled “Doing the Right Thing with Technology” (38). Frey and Fisher discuss that the right thing to do with technology is not to ignore it or incorporate it to the point where kids have no face to face communication. They realized that they “needed a policy that would allow [them] to move from confiscating technology to teaching students how and when to use technology. In short, [they] were not teaching students to do the right thing with the technology they (the students) had” (39).They taught their students the difference between courteous and discourteous usage of technology. Because of this, students were more aware of the consequence and danger behind inappropriate use of technology. There is so much to be done with technology in an English classroom; they suggest getting audio files of books and sending text messages from you school computer to your kids’ cell phones to remind them of homework assignments (40).
I think there is a time and place for everything. Technology has its place in the classroom; its role is to promote and enhance learning, not trump all face to face social interaction. Read this article to learn more about how doing the right thing with technology enriched their classroom and students’ learning abilities.