Technology in the Classroom—If You Can’t Beat ’em…


As a teacher, the rhythmic buzzing of a student’s cell phone is anything but a pleasantry (especially when I can’t figure out who it belongs to). The iPods that drown out the important lessons I’m dishing out are the bane of my existence. I could go on about how the school rules dictate that you give me your phone, next time it’s mine, I’ll have to call home, yada yada yada, you’ll have your phone back tomorrow…but that’s another subject altogether. What has frustrated me most about the growing presence of technology such as cell phones and MP3 players is that teachers and administrators expect kids to use them in what would be considered a proper manner, and to do so without any guidance whatsoever.

I’ve always found the “war on technology” in schools to be hilariously misguided-many principals who would snatch a cell phone from a child fail to realize that everything else in that child’s bookbag could be considered technology, and, if used improperly, could be dangerous. Of course, as very young children we were taught the proper way to use a pencil or pair of scissors, so clearly the pens and pencils in the high schooler’s bag aren’t cause for alarm. But why are the cell phone and the iPod seen as so detrimental? A-ha! What’s missing is education on how to use these tools properly, just as with pencils and scissors. Students that text during class or listen to their music so everyone in the class can hear it are the equivalent of kindergarteners running with scissors pointing out at their classmates. They’ve never been shown that their iPod can be used to supplement their History research paper, or how to collaborate via text on a higher level than “Wut r u up 2 2nite?”. The technology available to today’s children can bring them places that were never dreamed of twenty years ago, but without proper guidance, the most they’ll ever get out of any of it is “lol.”

In a way, administrators and teachers who flat out ban electronics in the classroom are completing a self-fulfilling prophecy: students are not taught how to properly use electronics in the classroom; they use them anyway (incorrectly), and disrupt class time. If, instead, students were given ample time to use the technology they are so drawn to in a productive way, their education would increase exponentially.

People also view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *