Choose your battle:
Banning POD’s (Personally Owned Devices) -or- High expectations about appropriate use?
Teaching without technology -or- High expectations about appropriate use?
Make no mistake, having and following through with high expectations is a battle. It takes time and effort to mutually establish expectations, it takes time and effort to develop a trusting relationship, and it takes both consistency and a willingness to follow through on consequences. This is a classroom management issue… and it provides new challenges. It is a battle worth tackling! Why? Because you are a teacher, not a security officer.
Students today carry their unfiltered internet connections in their pockets. They have access every minute that they are not in the classroom.
“… But it is a distraction.”
“… But it makes them lazy.”
“… But they don’t use it for learning.”
As I said in a comment not too long ago:
I have a hard time seeing technology today as ‘creating more lazy students’ because I don’t see many students today that are more lazy than I was. I was a disengaged, often bored, student. Does technology create a distraction… YES, a huge distraction that can be hard to compete with.
So what do we do? We don’t let kids misuse pens (writing notes to each other) and paper (making paper airplanes) in class… We place high expectations on their proper use! Keeping technology out of class won’t work nearly as well as placing high expectations of their use in class. Listen to Sonya discuss “Expectations and Attitudes”
We can’t ‘compete’ but it is even harder to ignore. It’s a classroom management issue and it’s hard to deal with because it is new. We’ll lose the battle if we spend our time trying to compete with the entertaining world technology has to offer, but we will engage students if we learn to meaningfully integrate technology use when appropriate and then put it away, like we do for pens and paper, when it doesn’t add value… using our skills as a teacher to make sure that when students use any ‘tool’ in our class, that they are being used effectively and affectively.
So which battle will it be? Do we make classrooms a war zone? A battle zone to keep technology out? Or do we make it a learning zone? A place where we close the gap between digital distractions and digital classroom tools?
[Originally posted: April 20th, 2010]