Lately, everyone's been talking about tech in the classroom. But is it only talk in your school? I watch social media closely and it's my job to share some of the hot topics on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other outlets that teachers, principals, students, and parents are contributing.
Lately, it seems like everyone is trying to find the newest iPad app for teachers or what's the latest tool Google offered. EdTech has taken the education world by storm, and that's not a bad thing. After all, teachers are supposed to prep students for real world jobs. These days, you'd be hard-pressed to find a single occupation in the Western world that doesn't involve some understanding of technology.
But are you really as forward thinking as you believe? Ted Fujimoto posted an interesting tweet on tech in the classroom recently. He states that, in today's society, there's a much larger demand for using cell phones than pencils. But is that the case in the classroom? Most certainly not. Under his text is a picture that takes the point even further home. A student walking outside of school hopes there are lots of job openings that require filling in bubbles with pencils. Obviously, there aren't. You can see the image below.
So, even if you're using Google Hangouts during the lesson you planned on OneNote, do you still ban cell phones from the classroom and teach students to pass tests? Clearly, the example isn't perfect. Students are prone to texting and doing everything a phone is capable of (which is a large and growing list). And even if you're the most anti-standardization teacher to have ever lived, you can't do much about government regulations.
I think the answer lies in why you're incorporating technology in the classrom. Is it really to reflect the real world more? Because it's just there? Does it make things easier on you or the students? Personally, I think, like everything else, tech's role in the classroom and elsewhere is going through growing pains. It's something new, so we're all just starting to figure everything out. On the way, it's worth keeping the thoughts from Fujimoto's Tweet in mind.
Tori Pakizer is the Social Media Editor at SimpleK12.com. She writes regularly about the use of educational technology in K-12 classrooms, and specializes in how teachers use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media. You can follow Tori and SimpleK12 on Twitter @SimpleK12. If you have ideas for using social media in schools, please send your information or tip to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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