The Hechinger Report: What School Children Think about Instructional Technology!

Dear Commons Community,

The Hechinger Report has a short piece on student attitudes of instructional technology.   Based on interviews with students in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, a rural area outside of Philadelphia, the article presents a balance view of instructional technology issues.  For example:

“The pluses and minuses of cyber learning prompted a heated debate between two high school students, Cheyenne Knight, 18, and Brian Benes, 17. Both spend part of their day completing cyber lessons in a lab at Quakertown Community High School.

Although Knight enjoys her online classes, she is sometimes concerned that they’re not as rigorous as “live” classes. “You can take tests with your notes right in front of you,” Knight said. “You don’t have to memorize anything.”

“But in the real world, it’s not like somebody’s going to be watching over your shoulder,” Benes said.

“You don’t have that live, face-to-face contact,” she countered. “If you’re in cyber, you’re not learning social interaction.”

“The majority of social interaction in class is negative,” Benes responded. “It’s not necessary, and we’re getting enough because we’re here,” he added, gesturing to the dozen students gathered in the lab.

At that point their teacher, Nicole Roeder, who had been grading work on a computer across the room, joined the debate. “It’s true there may be certain things you don’t get, but there are other things you do,” she said. “I think there’s some give and take.”

Like many things in life, there are positives and negatives.  For instructional technology, the prudent approach is to provide options for students and not force the technology upon them.



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