Technology in Education – students simply don’t think of it as being anything but normal. It is just integrated into their lives. It is not separate or special rather just part of the way they work.
Recently a teacher asked their year 12 students how much value they placed on having their own laptops in the classroom and if it was a great advantage to their learning in that classroom. They were a bit “ho-hum” about it. They have had their own personal computers all through secondary school and, looking at/listening to their answers, it was evident to me that they took so many things for grantedsimply because they cannot really imagine life without them. They don’t really know what they would have to do if they did not have the technology because so many little things are taken for granted. For instance none thought how easy it was simply write an essay and then edit it easily – rather than rewrite the whole piece. None realised how easy it was to take and organise notes, continually adding to them as new data was gathered and none wondered how hard they might find it if they had to do research without internet access whenever they felt the need. Many are very visual and they like the easy access Clickview and YouTube videos when they need to find out how to do something. These are just some of the little things.
The question was not a “fair question.” It was not really a test of how useful the students found computers because they don’t really know any different. They don’t know what life is like without technology in their lives. They can list some of the bigger things like social media, blogs and vodcasts and using some of the digital tools to help them learn but too much is just part of their world and even the teacher who asked the question did not consider how much technology flies under the radar.
The question was probably due to frustration when the intranet was “down” or running slowly which only makes more evident that technology is an integral part of education and our students are lucky to have had 1:1 computers for such a long time. I don’t really think the teacher did not see the benefits but it did make for an interesting discussion.