"I'm concerned that if we say we need technology to engage students we're missing the fact that what engages students is good teachers and good teaching," said Lisa Babinet, a Waldorf math teacher.Some students attending Waldorf seem to agree.
"I don't think we're gonna be left behind at all because it's not like we're not a part of technology at all," said sophomore Isabelle Senteno. "We are a part of it, we just don't incorporate it in the lessons."Students also noted their cursive, which some consider a lost art, has improved, and the kids sometimes get annoyed when spending time with friends who go to another school; they say their other friends outside school are often glued to their gadgets and the web. Some may ask if this is detrimental since computers are going to clearly play a significant role in the adult lives of these children, however one Waldorf graduate, now in college, disagrees. Laila Waheed has a laptop she uses, however does not bring it to lectures. She says she takes notes by hand as it is a "form of studying".
"If you stood at the back of the classroom and looked at every screen, at least half of them would be on Facebook," Waheed said of all the other students who are typing away on their laptops during lectures.• Varying trends, which is best? Some questions to consider are how effective is computer technology in the classroom and what is the best way to use it? As computers obviously will play a significant role in the future, children today will need to understand computers, however how much is too much? Do we really want our children to grow up glued to a screen 24/7 and tie all of their activities to gadgets both in and out of the classroom? Perhaps a hybrid approach is best. Essentially computers, in all forms, are gadgets, and are only a tool that is as beneficial as the educational philosophies and practices linked to them. However if students are glued to their laptops both in and out of school, with their focus distracted by the Facebook and Tumbler type websites, the question begs asking, how much learning is actually happening, and more importantly, having the ability to retain and focus without too much information overload. One student, Laela Zaidi, who attends Joplin High School in Missouri, is currently learning in a one-to-one laptop program after last year's tornado devastated the school, including destroying all textbooks. With financial help from the United Arab Emirates, the school has gone paperless and now exclusively uses laptops. In her piece published a few days ago in the Huffington Post this week Zaidi said, "However, this school year I've come to realize that the "one to one" initiative is not always synonymous with "a better education." The 15-year-old Zaidi summed up her piece talking about technology overkill.
"Unlocking the ingenuity, drive, and enthusiasm within a student tends to become virtually impossible when they all become Internet-absorbed zombies. If this is what 21st-century learning looks like, then maybe there's no reason for students to attend school. After all, there's not much to learn from Tetris."Begs the question, is a shift happening in regards to educational philosophies about technology, and if not, should a shift occur?
View: Mobile site | Full Site