Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Technology in Schools: Where to Draw the Line

Computers Like These Were Passed Out to Every 
Student in a Highschool in the Midwest
As a student, I see the in's and out's of technology everyday.

Whether its checking class grades or commenting on your friends vacation album, technology is everywhere; Our homes, our communities, and even our school districts.

Many schools now are going "1:1"; a new program that allows each student to be paired with some form of technology to benefit learning.

My school recently adopted the program, distributing a Mac Book Air to each student grades 6th through 12th. Some of the elementary students received Windows computers, all the way down to kindergartners, who are getting to use iPad's to help with their learning.

I can see the pro's and con's of this new policy. Student's will have access to the internet to help with research and will do more PBL, or project based learning.

We commonly use applications like keynote, pages, and iMovie to make presentations in class, and use the website Edmodo to keep up to date with our classes. All of our textbooks are online, and all homework assignments are via Edmodo.

It sounds pretty good... in theory. Students having late assignments are down because it is easier for students to turn in work at home and there is no forgetting work at school.


The reality of it is, everything sounds good in theory. In reality, even with a strong filter on all content, students still find ways to spend all day on recreational websites, watching pirated R rated films they distributed through Air Drop, a file sharing program on all macs, and playing games sent to each other.

Teachers have trouble keeping their student's attention because everyone is iChat-ing their friends, on websites like Pinterest, and listening to iTunes.

For technology to be successful in a learning environment, administrators have to have complete control over what students are doing, because trusting them to behave responsibly with it will usually end in failure.

Would you have been able to resist in school if you knew you wouldn't get caught?

With things the way they are now, I don't think 1:1 technology in my school is controlled enough to work. It may only be the first year, but I don't see it lasting very long.

What's you're opinion on kids getting laptops for use in school and at home?

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