From Restricting to Embracing Technology
I’ve seen a collective number of teachers post on social media asking how to manage students being on their cell phones during class. This question is usually followed by a rant on how annoying it is, how it takes away from their learning or how they can’t get students to pay attention. Solutions like “collect them at the beginning of class” and “use them to take attendance” typically follow up on the thread.
This is the time in our students’ educational careers when we adapt to their lives to keep them engaged and active in class.
If your students are consumed with their cell phones during your class, then generate lessons and activities for them to use with their mobile device. Is one teaching method better than the other? No. But now you have your students’ attention while they’re engaged in learning versus searching the newest hot topic on social media that day. You may be thinking, “Well, not all of my students have access to a device or cell phone!” Most likely the bulk of our students will have access to a device. Allow them the opportunity to use it for learning. Then focus on ways to keep students without devices engaged.
There are considerable amounts of engaging #EdTech tools that teachers can use in the classroom with mobile access for students. This allows schools that may not have the opportunity to provide technology to their students the option to implement a B.Y.O.D (Bring Your Own Device) program. This provides a flexible learning environment where students have voice and choice in how they engage with content. The best part is allowing students that do have devices 24/7 access to learning.
Engagement. Flexibility. Access. This is what technology is all about. It’s a tool that can be used for good and not evil! Use it to establish student choice in your classroom, adapt to their world, and design a learning environment that never stops.
I yearn for the day when I have children, that they’re not placed in a classroom that receives punishment for the use of technology, but placed with a teacher that promotes the use of it. I hope their learning environment gives them the opportunity to succeed in multiple ways and changes with the times.