Posts Tagged ‘technology’

2597608152_128a20b1dd_m Andrew Churches poses the following question about engagement in teaching and learning particularly outside the classroom,  and how students love using technology as part of that engagement….BUT…

Are our students allowed to create, collaborate, analyse and review at the same level at school as they are able to do a home?

Good question.

Only last week I was chatting to some passionate teachers at a primary school in Sydney’s south-west. The school is located in a low socio-economic, highly multicultural area. The families and students are very committed to education and learning.

The teachers had actually surveyed their students to find out about the level of access they have at home to technology and they were somewhat surprised by the results. While they had expected some children to have limited access, particularly to computers ( mainly as a result of limited financial circumstances), they were astonished to find out just how many students DO NOT have a computer in the family home. What they did have access to were MP3 players.

I can’t say I was surprised by the survey results. It is a common trend in experienced by many students of some of our most disadvantaged primary schools – well, the ones I work in, anyway!

And this is where I get a bit frustrated…OK a lot frustrated……

Not at the students. Not at the schools who are doing their best with limited resources to provide students with access to technology (despite dodgy bandwidth etc etc). Certainly not, when at the school I just mentioned, the focus is on quality teaching and learning with technology playing a support role to enhance this learning.

Na. I get frustrated at a system level when all our talk is based on the assumption that students are already engaging with technology, particularly via computers, and that as teachers, we need to get better informed and create learning experiences tapping into this resource for learning. I agree. To a point.

But. Can. We. First. Get. It. Right.

Not all students have access to technology. Not all schools are well equipped.

At the above mentioned school, we – teachers and myself – were still waiting after 5-10 minutes for the Internet to start after we logged on to create blogs for learning……..no wonder some teachers give up! So we explored how we may be able to utilise MP3 players to assist the learning process instead!

So my point??!! What is our responsibility as a system in getting the distribution of technology more even? We seem to be doing a lot to address this in our Secondary sector, with the laptop rollout funded by the Rudd government. Good-o! Now how about a bit of focus on our primary schools!

By the way, while I am excited about technology, it’s more about the learning. Not the other way around. Sigh.

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