Using technology in the classroom doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing adventure. We need to pay attention to its impact on student learning, and teachers should be intentional on how and when it’s used in the classroom. Sometimes, technology shouldn't be used.
When Technology Shouldn't be Used
in the Classroom
1. When it decreases the personal relationship between teacher and student.
If a student just answers questions or completes work that is posted online without a discussion between the learner and the adult who is trained in the art of teaching, an opportunity for stretched learning and thinking is missed.
2. When it’s being used just to be able to say that it’s being used.
Sometimes, a tried and true method works without technology. If using the technology doesn’t promote deeper learning, reconsider the use of it. If it’s only being used at the substitution level on the SAMR model, it probably falls into this category.
3. When it makes the learning too easy.
Whoa! Don’t we want learning to be easy for our students? Well, deep learning takes work. When technology is implemented incorrectly, it can undermine deep learning. If students can “google” an answer or solve a problem by looking it up on the Internet, students miss out on the opportunity to struggle with learning and perhaps even miss out on the chance to make a mistake then learn from it.
"A man of genius makes no mistakes; his errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery."
- James Joyce
4. When it gets in the way of real communication.
With the “like” buttons nowadays, students can read meaning into it that may or may not be there. Also, it prevents someone from using words to express how they are feeling. If the technology is promoting real communication (think shy student who doesn’t answer in class but opens up in an online forum), then use it. But if it gets in the way of communication, it’s time to stop using it or reconfigure how it’s being used.
5. If it contributes to information overload.
It’s true that all of us are faced with more information coming at us at a faster rate than ever before. A skill students need to learn is how to filter and manage the information. If technology in the classroom is contributing to this, it’s a t the detriment of learning. Just because a student can be exposed to more information in a shorter amount of time by the use of technology, it doesn’t mean that it can be learned at a faster rate.
What would you add to this list?