Saturday, April 28, 2012

Lower School Tech Night

On Thursday, April 26 a number of interested parents joined the Lower School TLC members, Page, and Ben for a conversation focused on technology in the classroom.  It was a great opportunity to share how we approach the use of technology in the classroom and what we are experimenting with.  I was not surprised that our reservations with integrating technology in the classroom are the same that parents have regarding technology at home.  However, I think we did a good job of expressing that we see technology as another tool to be used along with traditional tools.  Ultimately, each tool available to us should enhance student learning and our teaching.  Our visuals showed students using paper, books, hands on manipulatives, maps, scissors, iPads, and laptops and our conversation stressed that technology is integrated in a thoughtful and considerate manner.  I was very impressed with my colleagues use of technology in their learning spaces and am eager to learn more.  It is clear that we are using the tools to guide our learners in age appropriate ways and have found positive uses for technology in the classroom.

In preparing for the evening I asked a few of my students what they thought about the use of technology in school.  Here are their thoughts:

This morning I stumbled across the following article using my favorite personal app called Zite.  How Mobile Technologies Are Shaping A New Generation The article, written by Tammy Erickson, explores the idea that a new generation of children, perhaps dubbed Generation i, is emerging.  Unlike a few from Generation X  and most of Generation Y, these children are "the first participants in an era where everyone has access to everything, everywhere, at every time. This is the generation of mobile technology, wireless communication, and clouds of constant content."
  • Two-thirds of 4- to 7-year-olds have used an iPhone or iPod
  • 6% of 2- to 5-year-olds have their own smartphone
  • 50% of 11 year olds have own cell phone
  • 10% of households with children aged 6-12 have iPads (compared with only 3% of other households); 35% of these households with young children plan to buy some brand of tablet computer in the next year
  • 72% of the 100 top-selling education apps in Apple's iTunes App store this year were aimed at preschoolers and those in elementary school
  • One of the first products aimed at putting an iPhone into a baby's hands (Fisher-Price's oversize case, providing coverage against drools and tantrums, while doubling as a rattle), rapidly sold out on Amazon; the three apps designed for the case have been downloaded more than 700,000 times
  • Kids 11 to 14 spend, on average, 73 minutes a day texting
  • The average teen sends more than 50 texts a day
  • Over 25% of 2-5 year olds and over 40% of 6-8 year olds use the Internet
  • 88% of 6-8 year olds use the Internet to play games; 37%, to get help with homework; 25% to get the "inside scoop" on what interests them; and 22% to read and write email
  • 90% of tweens (10-12) play online games
  • Younger children spend over 10 hours a week playing video games
  • The amount of time all kids spend online daily has tripled in the past 10 years

In viewing these statements it is clear that education is at a crossroad.  We can continue to utilize traditional tools and deliver legacy content or we can truly prepare our students by offering a rejuvenated curriculum with carefully implemented technological tools.   

1 comment:

  1. Wow - those are some powerful stats. Something we could share at the next LS parent coffee?!!? These kids are truly growing up in a world that is very different than the one in which we grew up. I do think we would be fighting the tide if we refused to bring it in to the classroom. At the same time, I think you guys in the Lower School are continuing to do a wonderful job at balancing the tools that you put in the kids' hands. Bravo!