Saturday, February 4, 2017

TechNology Versus TechYesogy

Technology in the classroom is a hot topic these days.  This is not surprising.  Technology is embedded in the lives of our students.  According to statistics released by Commonsense Media and published by Techaddiction by age eight, 96% of children have watched TV, 90% have used a computer, 81% have played console video games, and 60% have played games or used apps on a portable device (cell phone, handheld gaming system, iPod, or tablet).  While it is prudent to be aware that not all students have access to or are familiar with common forms of technology, a significant portion of our students use technology on a regular basis and are engaged by it.  Cox cites a study that states  students prefer technology because they believe that it makes learning more interesting and fun.

There are many reasons educators should incorporate technology into their instructional design.  Mathis cites several of them in her article Technology in the Classroom:  5 Undeniable Reasons to Embrace It.  Among these compelling reasons is our obligation to prepare our students for the work force and life after school; creating responsible digital citizens; providing opportunities to learn independently and collaboratively; offering multiple means of acquiring and representing knowledge; and the opportunity to pesonalize the educational experience for our students.  I would also add that it is included in British Columbia's redesigned curriculum.  

Technology in the classroom may include (but is not limited to) student-created slide presentations, delivering lessons using Nearpod on a mobile device, using augmented reality like Aurasma to have students embed reflections or additional detail in their work; or using Kahoot or Plickers to do formative assessment.  The possibilities are exciting and virtually endless.  I have found that using Lexia with my students as part of a station rotation and lab rotation has assisted in increasing student achievement.  

One concern is the effect of screen time on developing brains.  This of particular importance for younger students.  In fact as of May 2013, "internet use disorder" (IUD) was added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association. (Crawford, 2017)

In her article Crawford (2017) cites research that shows that certain activities, such as playing video games or playing on certain apps can release dopamine. This natural chemical often referred to as the pleasure chemical can create addictions and can result in serious problems.

Used with purpose and intentionality technology can increase student achievement by providing access to diverse resources and allowing the teacher to rethink instructional delivery. Technology itself isn't the solution, it is simply a mechanism through which a solution may be achieved.

Join the debate. Check out this Pixton. Do you agree with Chantoui or Chantenon?


Cox, Janelle.  Benefits of Technology in the Classroom. (2017). TeachHUB. Retrieved 4 February 2017, from

Crawford, N. (2017). Wired Kids: How Screen Time Affects Children's Brains. Breaking Muscle. Retrieved 4 February 2017, from

Mathis, Meghan.  Technology in the Classroom: 5 Undeniable Reasons to Embrace It. (2017). TeachHUB. Retrieved 4 February 2017, from

Statistics on Children’s Use of TV, Internet, & Video Games - TechAddiction. (2017). Retrieved 4 February 2017, from

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