Thoughts for Discussion

In reading the material provided for Module 1, I found it interesting that most of the professional discussion surrounding technology integration focuses on skills and competencies. In addition to this, I also was interested to discover that much of what is written seems to make the assumption that simply because students have the skills necessary to make use of the technology that they are also able to do this in ways that are appropriate to the classroom setting. According to an article published on The Teaching Centre Journal “Two classroom-based studies reveal that the use of laptops, in particular, can have a positive effect on student attention and learning—if these tools are used for course-related, instructional purposes. However, when in-class laptop-use was not a required part of the class, the students in these studies reported lower levels of engagement and learning.”. If this is indeed the case, and I believe that it most likely is, why are we not discussing the necessity of teaching students about the appropriate use of technology? With the pilot iPad project that my school has undertaken we have found that a large number of grade 8 and 9 students have difficulty understanding the when and the why (but never the how!) of using their devices in the classroom setting. Some parents are even concerned that their children are developing an “addiction” to their devices and that they see them as a toy rather than a tool for learning. How do we teach students about what is appropriate use of technology in a certain situation? Is this our role as educators?  In this new “wired world” when and how is it appropriate to limit access to technology? How do we do this effectively?

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