Teaching is not only lesson plans and assessments. A large portion of time is spent becoming familiar with the learning styles of our students as a way to base our instruction. No matter what subject area you teach, it is important to introduce skills that are going to benefit the students and allow them to become productive citizens. A small survey of freshmen students has confirmed that technology is an everyday use in their lives. They have admitted to spending hours of time on their cell phones, computers, IPods, and various gaming systems. They have expressed their wish to use some of these tools in the classroom, and express that most are prohibited. Why do school systems continue to remove the media that students are most familiar with?
Students today are multitaskers and need a fast pace environment in order to stay engaged in the classroom. It is our responsibility as educators “to explore the power of these tools” (November, 2007), and use them in ways that motivate and engage our students. Students come to our classrooms ready to learn, but are bored by the use of old tools that teachers continue to use (Laureate, 2010). So what can we do to engage our students? I disagree with the idea that students do not want to learn. I believe they want to use the tools they are most familiar with and mesh them with their education. These tools include technology and a wealth of media. Is this a distraction or the wave of the future? I am convinced that, as educators, it is time to ride the wave and engage our students by intertwining entertainment and education.
Profiling Students: A podcast discussing students and technology.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2010). Program number 16: Millenial learning styles. [DVD]. Understanding the impact of technology on education, work, and society. Baltimore, MD: Author.
November, A. (2007). Banning student “containers.” Technology & Learning. Retrieved from http://www.techlearning.com/article/7468