Due to returning to the education sector this year and working through the PLN, l’m being exposed to the enormous area of technology in education. Exploring the use of technology in schools highlights so many different aspects for students, staff and parents – policies, knowledge, ability, use and attitudes.
One of my early experiences this year was when a Year 8 Learning Support student asked whether he could use his mobile phone to photograph what was written on the whiteboard. Wonderful that he was keen to have the information, however not possible due to mobile phones being banned at school. A later discussion with VCE students revealed that some teachers allow this practice. Interesting for me to hear that policies are perhaps a little flexible and practices differ depending on the teacher and students.
My observation of showing my 10 year old nephew a kindle and viewing the PLN video clips displayed digital natives intrigue with technology and willingness to play. My discussion with VCE students revealed quite a mature attitude towards technology and it’s ‘useful’ applications. The boys use various mobile devices and web tools for specific and useful purposes. However it’s their sisters who use Facebook and text messaging to a staggering extent! The boys experience of teachers use of technology in the classroom correlates with age – the younger the teacher, the greater the use!
As the weeks progress, my thoughts re the importance of educating our school communities regarding the constructive use of technology are all the more confirmed.