Smartphones and tablets appear in the classroom news almost daily, but seldom in a positive context. Cyberbullying, sexting, binge gaming, social media addiction – the focus is too often on the downside of modern technologies. The most intuitive response is to stir clear from all that, just to be on the safe side, thus inevitably making it “a boring side”. We say “prevention”, but what we often mean is “total ban”. Well, an ostrich attitude has never led to anything good.
KEEPING UP WITH THE TIMES
I understand that with new apps popping up every day, teachers, no matter how tech-savvy, often are the last to know what is going on in the smartphones of their students. We are not as interested and engaged, as they are, not as eager to discover something new. It takes all the running we can do, to keep in the same place. Even if we show a genuine interest, kids will try to hide things, doing all they can to distance from the “uncool adults”. However, it does not mean that we should give up or leave it all to parents. Avoiding technology in our classroom, we will only widen the gap and make it worse. For our students, we will be not merely outdated, but as good as extinct. For the sake of communication and understanding, we must show them that we do populate digital terrain – just as they do. I do not mean fraternizing and joining every social medium there is, but actively using technology as an educational tool. There are several other reasons to do that.