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  1. I am writing this comment from my phone, so you get an idea about where I stand on the issue. I think we need to both leverage it AND engage in many thoughtful opportunities & experiences where you disallow it. How else might we show kids both how powerful a learning & productivity tool it can be while also teaching them the importance of a healthy balance? I can’t wait to hear what people say in the comments section.

    • I’m so curious about that balance right now. I think we were battling for a long time in a false binary of Have Out vs. Put Away but now we need to have conversations around when we should do one or the other or maybe even both in the same room?

      • I find this a very interesting discussion. As you both know, I don’t use a Smart phone, but I’m equally as attached to my iPad. I can definitely understand this distraction (and maybe even the need to understand more the feeling of attachment that students may have to their devices). That said, I can’t help but think back to my teaching experiences last year, and our need to be far more purposeful about the use of technology. The more that I read and learned about self-regulation, the more that I saw the often negative impact on the students. As children were developing social skills, problem solving skills, math skills, and language skills, I found that more and more, we saw the value in limiting the technology and using it primarily to capture learning. I’ve found myself being more critical about the use of tech in the classroom, and questioning more, “Why are we using this tool? Is it the best option? If not, what might work better?” As I think about the new Kindergarten document, I see that, in most cases, technology would be best-suited in capturing learning (and the apps that allow for that to happen) and for learning more about topics of interest/current inquiries. Maybe these are ways that high-tech and low-tech options can be used together. I’m curious to hear what others have to say about this. Tech may be a reality in our world, but what else is a reality, and to address these other needs, do we sometimes have to reconsider tech use?


        P.S. I like the thinking that our Board has that “pedagogy drives learning” and “technology helps accelerate it.” I wonder if this kind of thinking would help with some of the questions you posed.

        • It was your post that really got me thinking on this. I feel my evolution of thinking is similar to yours. Sometimes I wonder if it’s the very fact that these technologies are so pervasive in everyday life that we should actually limit them in schools. I t=don’t believe that, but I do wonder it…

        • I don’t want to be reactionary and I want to acknowledge the realities of students’ need to be connected to their social groups. The failing I see in policy makers is the false belief that students are on their phones or are willing to use their phones to enhance their learning. Many of my students have responded to my suggestions regarding useful apps or ways to use their phones in class with “this is my phone: it isn’t for school”. I want to engage my students in a way that makes them see the value in putting down their phones and collaborating directly with ther classmates but I cannot begin to compete with Snap chat and I cannot be more entertaining than epic fail compilations on YouTube or World Cup soccer matches. I’ve had people say “just let them fail” but this feels wrong: isn’t it my job to protect them from their own inexperience and lack of understanding of the long term effects of being completely disengaged from classroom activities while adding to their story streak?

  2. This is a very interesting wonder, Royan! While I do love the use of technology, when I’m engaged in face-to-face discussions with people, I want the tech put away. Since school is about so many of these face-to-face interactions, should it be put away more? Thanks for giving me more to ponder …



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