Wednesday, November 23, 2016

I found this article from late 2015, linked below (also linked in diigo), about two schools that do not allow the use of technology. One is in London and one is in Silicon Valley, of all places!

According to the article, employees of some of the tech giants like Apple, Google, and Yahoo send their kids to the Waldorf School of the Peninsula, which prefers hands – on, experiential learning rather than technology. Instead, they emphasize imagination, creative thinking, and problem solving. There is apparently some research showing that technology use has shown no significant improvement on student learning and some even says that students using a great deal of tech actually do worse. These schools want students to become producers of knowledge rather than consumers.

Personally, I can see both sides of this argument.

First, I’ve been teaching a looong time, and we did just fine before there were computers and internet access in every classroom. We managed without Power Point or Word or gradebook software. We researched in the Library instead of on Google. Students bringing devices in class can be very distracting. At my school we caught students using texts to cheat on exams. Teachers often complain about shrinking attention spans and I think there is some truth to the argument that the constant stimulation of technology has added to that. So I can understand the appeal of tech – free classrooms.

On the other hand, tech – free classrooms?!?!? Are you crazy!?!?!? With tech, lessons are more engaging, practice at an appropriate level is immediately available and OMG! who wants to ever see another card catalog??? Tech has allowed us so save so much time on research and grading and lesson planning. It is hard to imagine going into a classroom tomorrow and not having my Smart Board and projector. As advanced as it was for the time, no one misses the overhead projector!! So I can understand the appeal of tech – filled classrooms.

So, I bring this up because I figure there are LOTS of opinions out there on this subject. What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Digital Storytelling Project:

This project will be part of a Reading assignment for 5th graders. They will research the mystery genre, write their own short mystery story, and then create a digital storytelling project. I did my example in Power Point, which I realize was not the best choice. It tells a story written and read by a 9 year old.