Project Tomorrow’s Speak Up

I thought it was interesting that high school girls were more likely to use technology to support their schoolwork than boys (Table 2).  It makes me wonder if the future generations will see an increase of women in the workplace due to girls being more invested in technology.  On the other hand, girls seemed less interested in a STEM career path (Chart 7).  This doesn’t necessarily mean, though, that girls cannot or will not be able to use their technology skills in other career choices.

I also thought the discussion of iPad v. smartphone was important as well.  Obviously, if schools want to incorporate more technology-based lessons/resources/assessments, they will need to take into account the fact that they will most likely need to provide devices for their students.  Many of the students want to be able to use their own devices, especially if it’s their smartphone, but then, how does the school technically (and legally) monitor this? My worry as a teacher would be that students would use their devices for other purposes; socializing, cheating, browsing the internet for non-school related things.  I also feel that iPads are a better resource than smartphones because they are bigger and easier to see/read the information.  But again, you would need to monitor these devices and I’m sure that a class set of iPads is more expensive than a class set of smartphones.

The most interesting point to me was the digital footprint.  I am always very careful of what I post online, especially via my social media.  Pictures, articles, and posts are usually personal, albeit not revealing, and always something positive.  I stay away from political and other controversial issues and I hate people who only use their social media websites as a platform to complain.  My fear as a teacher is that students would be inclined to post whatever they wanted/felt like at the time.  Posts that could ultimately get them in trouble, either with adults or with their friends.  Most teenagers feel invincible and who doesn’t like to brag?  The article essentially said that most teachers/parents feel the same way I do but that the students themselves have a different viewpoint on digital footprints and are more cautious than adults gave them credit for.

So, how does this help us as teachers plan for instruction? Many teachers, myself included before taking this class, are resisting the change because, well, to be frank, most people, myself included, flat out do not like change.  And I think that’s what the bottom line is; people do not like change.  Well, times are a-changin’ and it’s best for teachers to be on board.  I’ve said it several times and I will say it again, students need guidance.  How can we give them guidance if we have no clue what they are doing? We need to be on the same page as our students; this will help build relationships with them and make us relevant to them (one of my favorite phrases).  If we are relevant to our students, they will be more interested and engaged in what we are trying to teach them.  And what’s wrong with using technology in our lessons? It provides differentiation and is 100% more interesting than reading textbooks or listening to a lecture.

I think of myself as a technology convert.  There are still many many aspects that I do not know how to use/am not even aware exist but I am going to do my hardest to incorporate technology somehow into my classroom.


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