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Post 3

Marykb's picture

One component, at my placement, that I have been continuously impressed by is technology. Each student has a computer and most of the projects are heavily technology based. The use of paper seems foreign to these students. If computers weren’t enough, each student seems to have some type of smart phone. In the class that I supervise, every assignment that I have seen them produce has been submitted though an electronic drop box. My question is, how do teachers control the usage of the devices? How they draw the line between appropriate and excessive?

 I have seen students play games instead of taking notes. The class requires them to have their lap tops open but how can they really require them to be on their notes and not on MindCraft or gmail chat? One way I have seen my teacher control this is by simply telling them that if she sees them off task that they have to close their computer and they won’t be able to finish their assignment. This seems effective-to a point. Personally, when I see students off task, I will just ask them to show me their work. The student will quickly shut down their distraction and pull up the assignment. When they realize that I may be watching for this stuff, they seem more on task. When students are given access to the internet so easily, I wonder if it really fair to ask them to resist the urge to click on adds or chat with their friends. I think that it is hard for teachers to ever really understand the prominence and control that technology has on the younger generation. I think that there should be more done to understand this culture. If teachers could understand it more, they could may be use it to their advantage.

In class, we haven’t had many readings to help address the prominence of technology in classrooms. However, we have had many discussions about it. I have noticed that each field placement addresses technology differently. I have been taking note of the methods and been comparing what I have heard my peers say about the effectiveness. It seems that excluding technology completely is out of the question, so it is more about understanding the roll it has on students and maintaining focus. I think this is key for teachers to better understand what they are asking of their students

The issue of technology is an ongoing one that teachers and students have to understand. Technology can be transformative in learning but must be used in the right way. To further understand this issues, I will continue to ask questions to my friends and fellow teachers who work with me in praxis about how/where they see the roll of technology and how they can control their students. Teachers must work with this fast paced world of technology-rather than fight it. 


jccohen's picture


This is such a current, relevant topic - and I particularly appreciate your point that teachers for the most part may not know enough to use technology as effectively as they might in the classroom.  Even in a school and classroom like your field site, technology though central is still under-utilized in this sense.  In terms of pursuing your investigation, two thoughts:  have you had a chance to ask students at the placement their opinions about these questions?  Also, Alice Lesnick teaches about this in the Ed Program, so I'd suggest emailing her to see what resources she might refer you to.