I was instantly drawn in when I saw the title of an article on Huffington Post’s Education site. iPads: Why low performing schools need digital media. iPads…low performing schools…digital media…I’m in. As I read these words from author Craig Watkins I literally screamed out loud:
“Technology alone will not change what is happening in low-performing schools. But effective insertion of technology into the classroom might help break the ice that chills the relationship between students and teachers. Rather than spending their time and energy policing mobile phones what if teachers asked their students to pull out their devices to execute a class assignment.” (Watkins, 2001)
Say it again Craig…say it again (next time though, add administrators too!)
The only part of this statement that bothered me was the “what if”. We can no longer afford to live in a “what if” world. We must change that to “when we”!
- When we integrate technology, particularly mobile devices our children are more engaged.
- When we make the integration of these devices purposeful they are less distracted because they are being used properly and aligned with the instruction.
- When we take the time to look at our lessons and units and continue to develop them and not just repurpose them our students are not bored with the content and they learn new ways to learn.
- When we stop and realize it isn’t about us as educators, but all about the students, they don’t feel disconnected with us.
- When we resolve that technology will only continue to evolve and we can’t change that and the solution isn’t to block and ban…our children will learn digital citizenship.
- When we realize our students learn different, therefore we must teach differently they will become leaders who are prepared for the world that surely awaits them.
Cathleen…it’s not that simple…yes, it is and my buddie Craig says it best:
“The challenges facing low performing schools are complex and yet elements of the problem are easily identifiable. Low performing schools are filled with students who are simply not engaged or interested in learning. In their eyes school is a place where surveillance, harassment, and disrespect are daily occurrences. Inserting technology into an environment like this is a multi-faceted experiment involving not only the reinvention of learning but also the transformation of students’ disposition toward their teachers and learning.” (Watkins, 2001)
WHEN WE! Who is with me? We spend so much time talking and not enough time addressing the true needs of our 21st, soon to be 22nd century students. Simply, when we change our antiquated thoughts…we will see a change. I leave you with this quote by Clarence Darrow:
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
The Cre8tiv Mind
Watkins, C. (2011, January 9). Why low performing schools need digital media [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/craig-watkins/breaking-the-ice-why-low-_b_804117.html