There is a lot of angst these days about kids and screens and schools. France has outlawed cell phones inside of the building. Many schools have strict rules around the use of laptops and iPads and whatever else. In most places I’ve visited that do hand out technology, uses by students are narrowed and constrained.
I wonder how much of the angst isn’t really about students as it is the disruption to the way things are supposed to work in school.
Kids aren’t supposed to have easy access to the answers on the test, or have a connection to experts who have more knowledge and experience than the adults in the room. They’re not supposed to have a potential audience of billions, or to be able to learn our curriculum on their own.
Now they do.
But rather than ask “How does this change us? How must we adjust?” most schools take the easier path which is to block, limit, and punish students when they refuse to be constrained in their learning.
I’m not saying we create a techno free for all in schools where anything goes. But I am suggesting that both students and schools need to learn some new dance steps.
We need to navigate this new reality together, with our students, as connected learners, creators, publishers, and problem-solvers. That too may cause some angst.
Bill Ferriter says
One of the thoughts that always sits in the back of my mind is that the angst we feel is because kids aren’t using their devices in productive ways in our buildings. Instead, they are using their devices to play Fortnite or to blow each other up in chat conversations. That’s such a let down from what is truly possible.
But then I remember that it’s up to us to teach students to take advantage of the power behind their screens.
If kids aren’t using their screens for learning, shouldn’t the master learners in the schoolhouse (read: classroom teachers) be modeling something better?
Anyway…hope you are well,