Technology – is it helpful or a hindrance?

This morning I was flicking through my emails and came across a few blogs that caught my eye.

Stephanie blogged about One School and how she has been able to access this program to report incidences, however, her access is on a very limited basis.   She goes on to ask whether, as university students, we should be exposed to this system on a broader level.  I think this is a very relevant point as I too work as a teacher aide and have to ask permission from teachers to access this system which is rather annoying.  This could lead me to ask the question ‘If we are going to rely heavily on this system in the future, why do we not have access?

Jenny also blogged about One School and our total reliance on technology and what’s Plan B if for some reason we can’t access a computer.

This then led me to do a bit of research.  I soon came across this site Computing Education Blog which looks at one particular district called Hoboken and how they think that giving laptops to students is a terrible idea.  This site goes on to list some of the problems, screens cracked, batteries died, keys popped off, and the list goes on.  So, should we be embracing laptops in school or saying no?

And then I looked at my personal experience working in a high school as a teacher aide.  Regularly I’ll sit at the back of the class and from this viewpoint I can see what the teachers can’t – kids not engaging in any form of meaningful work.  Instead, students are watching you tube clips, playing games, watching movies and the list goes on and on.

This then led me to ask the next question – do we need to monitor what students are doing in the classroom?  Lan School is a monitoring system that allows teachers, and/or the ICT Head of Department from the comfort of her office, to monitor exactly what students are doing on their laptops while they are in the classroom. But is this an invasion of privacy?

We have all of this technology around us – but is it helpful or a hindrance?


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