Dear Friends in Ward 7:
In 2014 the Public School Board officially endorsed the promotion of 21st century learning skills.
However, all too often this simply means allowing students access to mobile phones during class time and replacing textbooks with iPads.
In the interview below, I share my own ideas about the role of technology in the classroom and the direction I would take the Board if elected trustee on October 27th, 2014.
Please leave me a message in the comments, I would really appreciate your input!
Public School Trustee Candidate
Ward 7 Hamilton Central Mountain
Question and Answer With Dawn Danko Regarding Technology In The Classroom
Would you be in favour of a policy that would allow students to use mobile phones during class time?
I don’t even allow my college students to use their phones during class.
Mobile phones give students immediate access to information yes. But they are also a very tempting distraction. Elementary and secondary school students simply do not yet have the self discipline to ignore their phone when they should be paying attention to their teacher.
For me, it is also an issue of respect – like wearing a hat or chewing gum in class. If a student is busy pecking away at their phone during class time, they are not respectful of their teacher’s time or of the learning environment.
Are you in favour of replacing paper text books with iPads?
In general, yes.
Electronic textbooks are the way of the future and offer may advantages over traditional paper textbooks in the way that information can be presented and explored.
There are also disadvantages – you can’t easily underline important passages or make notes directly on the page with an e-book – although that may soon change.
I also think that it is important to look at costs.
Why iPads? A tablet is a tablet – so why would the Public School Board pay for an iPad that is double the cost of other similar tablets?
Are you in favour of replacing teachers with online classes?
As a college professor, I have been at the forefront of delivering class material, including complete lessons online.
However, I do not believe that a teacher can be simply replaced by online content.
Delivering class content online is a tool that effective teachers can use to better engage their students and streamline the education process. It also allows teachers to deliver a greater variety of lessons from experts that no longer need to be physically present in the classroom.
As online lessons become more and more integrated, it will be important to make sure that teachers are provided with appropriate training and time allowances that are required to deliver high quality online content.
In fact, it often takes me much more time and effort to produce quality online content than it would take for me to just teach the class in person.
So I actually see online lessons as a way to increase the need for skilled teachers – and benefit student learning.
What role to you see technology in the classroom taking in the future?
Well, first of all, we have to stop thinking of technology as simply giving students internet access.
When I think of technology, I think of hands on skills – like learning how to use a screwdriver to fix a TV, learning how to write a computer program or even just learning how to grow your own food.
I think that hands on real world approach to technology is being lost, and we are at risk of creating an entire generation of students that know how to use an iPad inside out and backwards – but they don’t know the first thing about how to fix it when it breaks.
What do you think?
Please leave me a comment below – I’d love to hear what you think!
WHAT YOUR NEIGHBOURS SAY ABOUT DAWN DANKO