One of the greatest users of new technology seems to be the classrooms of most schools. Indeed, one of the first things parents are asked to do at the beginning of the school year is to pay the deposit for the classroom I-pads that students are issued for the year. These devices are then used for almost every class and subject. Students even submit papers and take tests using the software these devices utilize. But, are students truly benefiting from having the internet highway at their fingertips?
It seems that some teachers are starting to question the dubious benefits that these types of tools provide. After a student becomes reliant on only having to enter a brief description into a search bar, they may tend to stop actually thinking and questioning the information that the search engines return. Rather, some teachers are asking students to verify the information that they are finding and submit it to the CRAP test. CRAP stands for Credible or current, Reputable, Accurate or Authority and Purpose. Students then must learn to evaluate the information presented to them and decide whether the search returns are worth their time.
The lessons that students are learning is teaching them to develop critical thinking skills, something that relying on technology tends to dull over time. Along with teaching students to learn to assess information and the sources from where it comes, some teachers are also asking students to put these devices aside and conduct some old fashioned research. It is encouraging to hear that some teachers are encouraging their students to rediscover the rewards that come with developing their skills to earn what they are learning.
Some educators are discovering that students are inclined to take as many shortcuts as possible when submitting their work, including finding ways to turn in plagiarized work rather than finishing a project on their own. Along with learning to do research in libraries and seeking out credible sources for finding correct answers, students are also learning how to work in teams in communicate effectively with one another to complete a project.
While technology has its place in the classroom, students who are learning how to find out information on their own tend to take ownership of their education rather than do a quick search for information and move onto the next task. Teachers who are taking the time to incorporate both old school teaching methods and new technology will enable the students of today to become the informed and critical thinking leaders of tomorrow.
It may be worth considering that while the founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, was passionate about discovering new technologies and how to adapt that technology for the classroom, he was adamant that his own children were allowed limited access to screen time. He personally felt that technology could ruin a child’s ability to think. So, while he has since passed on, the true value of his vision may come when students turn off their screens and learn.
Writer Bio: Angela Mose
I am a mom of 7 who has successfully homeschooled for 20 years. I was married for more than 25 years and have recently started my life over. I have a passion for writing and music and when the two can be combined, it is utopia. A Maryland native, I am planning to relocate north in the near future and will continue to strive to learn and experience new things on a regular basis. I am fortunate enough to be able to work from home while exploring new ways to increase my knowledge and skills and help improve the lives of those around me.