Accessability Links

DIGITAL EDUCATION - FOR OR AGAINST?

Friday 4th December 2015
In a recent article reported by The Guardian it was stated how many parents working in Silicon Valley are sending their children to schools without any technology at all.

In the heart of Silicon Valley is a school where employees of the likes of Google, Facebook and Yahoo send their children. But despite it being in the digital capital of the world, there’s not an iPad smart phone or tech screen to be found.

At this school, teachers choose to instead take a more imaginative, practical approach to teaching that integrates the ‘intellectual and creative development’ of the pupils through more traditional methods which do not incorporate the use of technology.

Digital Anxiety
Arguments for this new wave of teaching claim that education systems that have invested heavily in computers haven’t actually seen a noticeable improvement in their pupil’s results for core subjects such as English maths and science.

According to Director of Education (at OECD) Andreas Schieicher “If you look at the best-performing education systems, such as those in East Asia, they’ve been very cautious about using technology in their classroom. Those students who use tablets and computers very often tend to do worse than those who use them moderately.”

We recently wrote a blog where we discussed the growing anxiety surrounding over exposure to technology, and how many people are starting to fear that technology is causing ‘digital amnesia’ and in fact, making us more stupid. Which would explain why many parents, even those in tech careers may choose to not over expose their children to all the wonders of technology.

Teachers have raised concerns surrounding the potentially negative impact of social media on young people and the disruptive nature associated with smartphones in the classroom.

Educators have also stated how using technology too much in education could have a detrimental effect on a pupil’s ability to think for themselves and actively find out information independently because of the fact technology has made it so easy to access information at the touch of a button, if a student wanted to, they can find out how to do pretty much anything, online.

But what about the future?
Counter arguments however raise concerns over a lack of understanding of technology through schools not embracing it into the curriculum / through use of laptops/ tablets could actually cause pupils problems with employability in later life.

With it becoming ever more evident that digital skills are highly in demand, there’s been a heavy focus in the media around the entrance of programming into school’s curriculum. 

If there has been such an emphasis in making sure coding was introduced, surely a school that refuses to acknowledge this are putting their pupils at a disadvantage in future to their peers that do learn to code from an early age?

Students these days have been brought up in world that is constantly advancing digitally. Arguments for technology in education state that modern day pupils find learning by incorporating the use of technology to be more engaging than other approaches.

“Technology can shape, and reshape, who is the learner and who is the teacher. It can open up knowledge and content that otherwise would be less accessible, through access to open educational resources” (OECD)

What do you think?
The question is, is the threat of technology to our children’s education so high that more parents should follow in the footsteps of their silicon valley counterparts? Or is technology integral in modern day education?

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this, comment below, have your say in our poll or tweet us @AmsourceTech...

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