The 1:1 classroom good, bad or ugly?

The monkey selfie

The monkey selfie

Prompt:  Assume you have your first full time teaching job and the principal tells you that you’ve been selected to pilot the  “1 to 1 Project.”  What are your thoughts about the opportunities and challenges that  presents?

The good:

Integrating technology into the curriculum is pivotal in the process of making the classroom an extension of the real world. Students need to know how to use technology for success in social, professional and personal situations. To remove technology from the classroom would be detrimental to the validity of the class as it is no longer applicable or relatable to student’s everyday life. Additionally, students will be utilizing technology to further their education at home and as they go on to study at the university level, teaching them how to use it and how to use it successfully.

The bad:

In this era students spend most of their life staring at a screen between television, cell phones, computers, tablets, ipads, ibooks and video games. Spending too much time on the screen has proven harmful in some studies. One such study suggests that too much screen time can cause brain damage while others have shown a relationship between excessive screen time and an inability to read other people’s emotions. (NPR) As an educator I have to ask myself if it is wise to add to their already excessive screen time.

The ugly:

While I believe that classroom management should never prevent an educator from teaching important content, providing students with their own electronic device to use during class can be a nightmare. Even the best students can get sucked into the never ending fun that is animal memes and celebrity gossip. Students can access inappropriate content, illegally download movies (including classic western films) in your classroom and on your watch. Ipads and laptops with cameras provide the perfect opportunity for class selfies. While these may seem like harmless distractions that can be handled by consistent classroom management, it can prevent students from getting to the heart of the lesson that could be delivered in a more productive manner.

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