Friday, August 12, 2011

Technology is Not a Blanket Solution

I think I have hit upon one of my talking points for the coming year - each use of technology in the classroom is not intended as blanket solution for all the students in your class.

In a recent discussion with a colleague, he raised the idea of using twitter in the classroom, only to shoot down the idea because he was worried about how the one kid in the class, the one without an iPod, smartphone, computer, or POD would feel. This to him was reason enough not to attempt such a use of technology in his classroom.

When a kid forgets his lunch, we put a shout out to the class, and everyone is happy to kick in. When a child can't go on a field trip, the school foots the bill. We can't use this as a reason to not eat lunch, go on a field trip, or to use technology in new and exciting ways in class.

I have proposed having parents who have smartphones subscribe to teachers' homework calendars on the teachers' public website. Yes, I realize not all parents have smartphones - but if only a few parents have smartphones, and their kids have a habit of forgetting to write down or do their homework, then this reduces the number of students I have to chase down to get their work. This improves my working conditions, improves the parent's feelings of involvement, and will improve that child's education.

Technology in the classroom has the potential to improve education by meeting the needs of small groups of students, such as "the absent minded professors" group of kids. Technology offers us ways to personalize learning in the classroom.