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May 29, 2014

Image courtesy of deadwhiteguys

I am definitely someone who is distracted by technology.  I almost have developed a reflex to immediately cruise a few of my favorite websites every time I open up my laptop.  It is pretty sad, actually.  I’m only accessing a ridiculously small portion of what is available on the internet.  The only advantage to this is that it cuts down on my procrastination pre-work session.  If I were cruising more sites, it would take me much longer to check out what was going on before getting to work.  Unfortunately, I think that my balance is off.  Even with the limited number of distractions, I spend too much time on fun before I sink into the real work.

I think that the idea behind the Tech Break in the article on Good magazine is great.  Give the students some down time for a tech check-in, or for whatever they want to do, during your daily lessons  It could be a great motivator for students, to know that they will have an allotted time to send a few messages or visit their favorite websites, IF they put clock some concentrated work time during class.

I do have 2 big questions….

1. The professor(Rosen) behind this idea must be a little crazy.  How could he possible think that prescribing a 15 minute tech break after 30 minutes of concentrated work is an effective use of instructional time? I understand the thought behind giving a break but allowing 15 minutes for tech play during class time is extreme.  I don’t think I could find one other teacher at our school who could condone this kind of lesson planning.  I think we’d be undermining our curriculum and over-emphasizing the role of technology/social media/etc in our schools.  Which brings me to my 2nd question….

2. If we are acknowledging that our students are addicted to tech, which Rosen clearly does, why aren’t we teaching them to manage this addiction and find appropriate times and ways to use/access technology instead of just giving them a big hunk of class time to text and check their friends’ Facebook updates?  It appears that Rosen might have some strategies, but I haven’t yet read his book. Maybe I should check it out.

Although I find new technology fascinating and wonderful, I’m often seized by a creeping sense of dread as technology continues to take over our world. It makes me feel old to think about how I was educated and how different my children’s educational experience will be because of technology.  Everything is always changing… and it kind of scares me.