Why are we restricting technology in the classroom?

It was made known to me recently that some teachers are still using the chalkboard/markers as teaching tools even though the very same classrooms are equipped with computers, smartboards and projectors. I am appalled.

I think the stubborn recalcitrance to technology is detrimental in the classroom. Because the world has changed relentlessly in the past 2 decades. If we educators are stuck in our past how can we prepare students for their future?

In my classroom, I don’t have a rule against smartphones. I think it is necessary, as a learning tool for students. There are times when I noticed a student confused with some terminologies I use and a quick google helped to clarify things and allowed the student to seamlessly re-enter the learning mode without disrupting the class.

Some colleagues may argue it may serve as a distraction and they may end up doing something non-academic. I would argue instead of finger-pointing at students, why don’t we examine ourselves? Are our content stimulating enough? Frequently it is not. So the students end up channeling their attention some where else or they end up dozing off.

On the other hand, students of the new millennium has gotten new behavioral traits that doesn’t mean they are disrespectful or not paying attention. They have simply grown up in a time that is very different from ours. It is not unusual to see toddlers handling kiddy games on the iPad with aplomb and primary school students typing furiously on the Whatsapp whilst notifications from 10 other apps ring constantly in the background. They have grown up in a time when the brain is a very busy place taking in multiple stimuli and making sense out of it and have become accustomed to it.

Conducting the class like we have been learning in our past makes it seem really slow paced for these millennials. I wonder if anyone of you remember watching a movie sometime in 2001 titled Moulin Rouge directed by Baz Luhrmann. I think it changed movie editing forever from that film onwards. In what was described as machine gun paced editing (or fast editing), we were fed a beautiful lovelorn story and is nothing atypical except that countless shots of less than 3 seconds each were stringed together and the story progressed relentlessly. I came out exhausted but also enjoying the adrenaline of it all.

The times have changed, if we can get into the psyche of our students and move along with them, perhaps more of them will become interested in school and in what we have to say. COMMENT.



  • On December 05, 2016