Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Gadgets in class

A stack of the iPods I now own... included are...Image via WikipediaA tweet from @markbarnes19 last night caught my eye. "ROLE Reversal: Why aren't we using gadgets in class?"

Here is the link to the article - which asks a simple question: as 75% plus of children are using iPods etc, how come teachers aren't?

SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 09:  Apple CEO Steve...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeMy own experience at a high school in Japan is that students' own tech is forbidden in the classroom - phones are actually collected up and locked in a cupboard in the teachers' room. I asked if we could engage the students using their phones to write each other messages (in English, as part of our writing course) and was looked at with a mixture of condescension and horror...the foreigner asking extremely dumb questions again variety of look. So, the chances of getting their gadgets out are very remote indeed. And there goes a fabulous opportunity to engage the students on their terms. 

Another year of students will graduate without realising the wonderful potential of the technology at their fingertips - beyond gaming and MP3 players. Fail.

Do we use gadgets at Luna? Not as much as I'd like - I would personally like to see all of our learners using apps, songs, audiobooks etc on iPod Touches, but the expense is a big ask in the current economic climate. We do use our own iPhones/iPads to showcase certain apps that we like/recommend, and they are genuinely useful and educational. Sadly, a lot of teachers are technophobic/still got chalk in their hands...