SPED 312

Students & Technology

“If we teach our kids as we did yesterday, then we rob them of tomorrow”. This quote summarizes the main points of the video well. In our world today, teachers must recognize that if we teach our students the ways of the past, such as by sitting in front of a textbook and listening to a teacher lecture for a class period, then we are not preparing them for the future demands and expectations in their future careers and life aspirations. In the United States, there are different approaches that schools have taken.

The Quest to Learn School is a charter school located in New York that focuses on the digital world. This school has a game-based curriculum, which means they use games for each academic subject. The reason why the school has this approach is to teach students how to problem solve. Particularly in video games, children are given set problems that they are forced to accomplish in order to move onto the next level where new material is tested. From this stand point, video games can be beneficial because it gives students instant feedback. Interestingly, schools may even be able to move away from paying for assessments, as the various video game levels are like assessments. However, this approach to learning also causes concerns to many. For instance, many parents have become uneasy with technology, as they did not grow up with this excessive amount of technology in their classes. Many parents think that they were able to learn successfully without the latest technology like iPads, laptops, smartboards, and video games, so their children should be able to do the same. In addition, many people in society worry that children may be becoming addicted to technology, especially video games. Many children want to keep improving their scores or move to the next level, that they may take the amount of time playing video games to the extreme. One other concern is that diverse learning is not accounted for. Each student learns differently, but this school’s approach seems to only cater to specific learning styles. But certainly, with the pros and the cons of this school, the children do seem to be engaged and excited to learn.

Secondly, the Digital Youth Network started as an after school program that eventually became part of the school’s curriculum. This method fosters creativity through many tools. For instance, photography, music, graphic design, and film making are means of expression that many students use.  These students start with an interest that grows into a passion that influences the way the rest of their life may go. For instance, one young man had a passion to learn how to play the piano. However, since his family could not afford lessons, he used Youtube to learn to play. Certainly, the more opportunities that students are given, the more chances are they will find something that they will pursue. With fewer opportunities, the chances of this happening may fall short. In addition, an interesting comment was made that digital media has changed the ecology of reading and writing. This is true, as students are still reading and writing as students for years have done, but it is just in a different way.


As future teachers, it will be our responsibility to find the technological resources for our students. We must recognize that not all students will have access to technology at home, such as a computer. With this, we must create assignments or find ways for our students to have access to the technology. For instance, we can encourage students to go to the library after school or on the weekends in order to use the resources available there. Especially when working in a special education classroom, technology will help us keep the attention of our students. For instance, if doing math problems, they will be more engaged if doing the work on the smartboard instead of with a worksheet. Also, technology would allow a teacher to help multiple students at once. Students can use a reading app if they need assistance instead of having the teacher come over for each unfamiliar word when he or she may be working with another student. Lastly, News-2-You is an on-line newspaper that provides different levels of reading for students. Check out the link to the newspaper.




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