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Technology In Schools – Giving Students A Voice
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We’ve all, no doubt, come across a myriad of arguments, both for and against, regarding the use of technology for learning, particularly in a school environment. As a school leader, and continuing classroom practitioner, I have found myself in many conversations with staff, and parents, regarding whether technology is the bane of education, or its salvation, enabling enhanced learning. I will state at the outset that I am most definitely in favor of the potential benefits of using new technologies in the classroom. I say “new technologies” as all tools for learning are examples of technology i.e. pen and paper vs. chalk and slate etc.
I emphasize that using technology in the classroom is just another tool in a teacher’s toolkit. I believe in balance – and selecting the right tool for the job. There is a place for pen and paper, and there is a place for digital tools. The consideration as to which tool to select should, in my opinion, is based on student needs, not the teacher’s comfort zone. If a significant role of teacher is to prepare students for the lives that they will live, we are doing students a disservice to simply expose them to learning experiences from our past. Just because it suits us.
In my conversations with teachers, many, who are hesitant to take on the challenge of incorporating digital learning experiences, seem to be simply afraid. Afraid that they will not be able to learn the technology well enough to be respected by the students as ‘the master’. Afraid that the technology will fail them in the middle of a lesson, causing students to become disengaged and teachers to feel embarrassed and ‘not in control’. Afraid that they are leaving the ‘safe haven’ of teaching practices that have served them well for the last 25 years. Afraid of change.
The ‘Aha!’ moment for these teachers is often when they realize that they don’t have to be the expert on the new digital technologies. It is completely unreasonable to expect teachers to be ‘au fait’ with all the latest software, hardware and apps that seem to appear at an exponential rate in the 21st Century. This is about the students being the experts. Not the teachers. It’s about giving students a voice to demonstrate their knowledge and skills through their preferred tool. Teachers then are able to assess the same set of knowledge and skills, regardless of the tool selected by the student.
For more details,visit: https://theknowledgereview.com/technology-schools-giving-students-voice/
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