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?


  1. Aly,

    The article you found was very interesting. I really enjoyed reading your post.

    Like you, I can see both sides of the argument.

    Before any technology was introduced to schools, students and professors did absolutely fine. Professors conducted their research by going to the library and finding articles, books, and etc. pertaining to their interests. Students had to learn the true meaning of “devotion” because they had to dedicate lots of time browsing through a library and reading different sources of information in order to successfully complete a research paper. If students had difficulty writing a paper, they had to go to the writing lab to find out how to properly cite a source if they did not have a book to refer to. Students had to go out of their way to become true producers and consumers of knowledge.

    Today, students have access to information at the very tips of their fingers. They do not need to go anywhere. All they have to do is go on the Internet and the World Wide Web. Today, classrooms have become more lively and engaging as opposed to being monotonous and routine. Teachers can tweak their lessons in the blink of an eye because they found an interesting idea or technique online and they feel it suits their students’ needs. Technology has completely revamped education. However, there are several cons to using technology within the classroom.

    Almost every student nowadays has access to a technological device. They bring it to school and want to use it all day, especially the little ones. Students want to text each other, go on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and etc. They lose their focus more easily. Students want to bring their IPad’s, IPod’s, and ITouch to school to play games and listen to music. All of these devices can be used for educational purposes, but students still want to deviate from the plan and do what they want.

    I think schools should continue to use technology within classrooms and also incorporate some of the “old” methods of teaching we are used to.


    1. Joanndeliz,
      I'm glad you liked the article. It certainly was thought provoking. I agree that tech in the classroom definitely has pros and cons. Being able to tweak your lesson on the spot is a great example of one of the benefits. Students wanting to text and go on social media instead of classwork is definitely an obstacle.
      I enjoyed reading your comment.