Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Debate: The problems of connecting the school to real life

I admit that I am a fan of technology and I am always investigating and trying to know and learn more about this topic. And for the same reason, everything I have. I try to use it for me, and for my work.
Watching the excellent presentation of Lisa Nielsen related with Connecting School life to Real life, which I thought it is a really relevant point if we really want to have students prepared for the future life.

I have always thought, that we are preparing students who will be working and living for many years, and what we do in a couple of years (School), it will be really important to make a change in their lives.

For me, technology and all the new inventions that are appearing everyday, must be considered as part of the process of learning. And when I read on the presentation of Lisa Nielsen, about that guy who thought that the use of cellphones on the classroom could be an excellent tool... I was like... wow!, that is what I think too.

It is really important to put at the reach of the students' hands all these technologies, because that is real life (internet, smartphones, facebook, twitter, etc.) or at least, that is the life we are living in today. But what I don't agree is.. if it is really possible to give all of this to our students, as a way to give them freedom to learn. Because, at least, some of my students don't understand the potential of these devices.

To give an example. For my students. a cellphone is a device to hear music, to watch videos, to store pictures and photos, and at the end, a device to call other people. Considering this, a cellphone is a device to have fun and it is not a tool to learn.
I can create activities to use a cellphone for learning purposes, but after some minutes, it becomes a distractor more than a tool.
I don't want to generalize. But most of my students still don't have a clear vision of their own future, or in many cases, their thoughts are not put still on their future. So it is still hard to make them understand, that in real life, technology is not just for fun, but a mean of connectivity, part of my future work, part of a tool to continue growing up in this life.

And maybe, that will be our role as teachers. To show them that reality.

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