At the beginning of this blog I was very nervous about completing the task which incorporated the “12 things”. On reflection by the time that I reached thing 10 my nerves were gone and I realised that I was experimenting with online tools with ease and with confidence. Throughout my experimentation I noticed that quite a few of the online tools are similar and they require similar actions to create the final product. In addition I realised that the technology I was using was innovative, stimulating and engaging. I was excited about what I was creating and therefore the students were more likely to be interested in the learning. In saying this, it does seem easy to get carried away with technology and I think it is important to always ask yourself, what are the students learning? Are they learning anything from that quiz? or What are they learning from that You Tube clip?
When using technology it is important to recognise that whenever an online device is being used, then other sites can be accessed. It is challenging to keep students on task and focused on the activity they have been assigned. It is possible for students to get distracted and go on to other sites or message their friends through text messages or social media. The management of technology is a difficult area and needs to be monitored by the teacher. Teaching methods need to be adapted to suit the use of technology and a teacher will need to monitor the usage of the technological devices.
It is not uncommon for a week to go by where the socio economic status of New Zealand is not in the media. We are aware that there are discrepancies in income and that there are people in poverty within New Zealand. From this point of view it is important to recognise that technology such as tablets, smart phones and lap tops are important pieces of equipment and the reality is that not everyone can afford these items. The reality is that within a class room some students may not have the equipment to participate in certain activities, they may have to share or complete a different activity. In addition to this, not having the expected equipment could result in a student feeing isolated or being bullied.
From a personal perspective I am currently sitting in the library, I am looking around and everyone is sitting in front of a laptop or a computer and those who are walking have smart phones in their hands. There is no escape from technology and we are constantly connected to various technological worlds. When I return home I can guarantee that my flat mates will be on their phones and one will most certainly be responding to work emails. Technology seems to make us busy or appear busy for much longer, finishing work at 5pm is no longer a thing because people can contact you at all hours of the day. Even at work when you respond to an email, this happens so fast that people come to expect this sort of return time and if it doesn’t happen in the future then you have not provided the right service. From a teachers point of view I can imagine that parents email constantly with queries or concerns and they expect a fast response. At what point do we have time to relax and do what we want with our time? Do we feel like we’re in the wrong if we don’t respond straight away? and are we able to get away from technology or is that just how life is now?
I think technology is essential but I think it needs to be managed in our professional and private spheres. There are so many elements that needs to be considered from the management of the devices in the class room, to the posture of students who use iPads and to our wellness.