Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Why Do We Use Technology In School?

This is a question I am often asked by parents at the beginning of 6th grade when students are required to have a laptop for our middle school program. I tend not to say too much, but show them through other students’ work why I think it is essential to be tech savvy in this ever changing world.  The words that do come to mind when thinking about this question are - excitement, passion, empowerment, creation, collaboration and sharing globally.

I recently sat through a long but exhilarating day of student led conferences where my 6th grade students had used their technology skills to plan, create and share a presentation about themselves as learners. They all used Google presentations and although the frills and level of content differed, each and every student was able to stand proud and share with their parents some very thoughtful reflections about their strengths, challenges and goals. I was amazed at their clarity and conviction of how important their learning was to each one. Parents were delighted to hear the level of self-awareness their children possessed, and one father stated that if this was a job interview, he would definitely hire his son. He also said that he knew many adults who could not do what his son had just accomplished.

So what does this really have to do with technology? I have had very successful student led conferences in the past where students have prepared similarly with observations, reflections and goal settings with a packet of information and work to share.

So what was the difference?  Technology - Google Presentations…

1.     The creation of a presentation that was meaningful to the students
2.     The presenting of themselves, which was so empowering for each student (not reading off a packet of papers)
3.     Students being in total charge of the conference
4.     Making it real by doing what adults in many professions

This was real to the students…they were in charge; reflecting on themselves as learners, creating something powerful and sharing with others. 

I can't wait for the next round....



  1. Lukas- I think that we use technology in school because it makes it a lot easier to change things like your writing and your homework. It also uses less resources per year. If used correctly a computer will last up to 7 years. Having a computer makes it better less money spent on suplies. You can clean them after each year making them brand new.

  2. I think its really important to have technology in school. The next generations are going to be
    around it 24/7 and if someone isnt very good at it they wont be that successful. I remember when I did my SLC and I was so nervous that I was going to forget I had my powerpoint but thanks to technology, It was saved on my computer and I didnt have to fret about me losing it like I normally do with things.

  3. I think its very important that we use technology. It will help our futrue generations solve new problems

  4. Anna- I think that student led conferences are a really good idea because they require students to really think about themselves as learners. I also think it is an amazing idea because It lets you know what the students think about their learning. Another thing is that you can learn more about how to help them learn. One of the best things is that if the person isn't very comfortable presenting, it helps them to practice for projects and other presentations. I think that every school should do student led conferences!

  5. HI Anna, Cam and Lukas. Thank you for leaving your thoughtful comments. I am glad you see the benefits of SLC instead of just talking to parents and you all did such a superb job of presenting yourselves. Thank you for supporting my thoughts on this blog...