This “study” – http://www.cbc.ca/news/technol…
Does not prove nor indicate anything. I hope no one reading this sees the experiment as valid, or even reasonable. The study has an invalid design, and the sample is equal to a cola taste test at a local WalMart.
I have been working in international schools where kids are doing IBO courses. Every IBO school producing students with high scores and top university placement, is a laptop school. (At least the 75 or so schools I have been in contact with.)
In fact, before I was working in administration, I was teaching 150 students a year. My students would not be able to parse the amount of information required by the IBO without a laptop, or regular computer access.
Students still takes notes, but they take them anyway they want. In fact, students between 16-18 seem to know what methods of note taking work well for them, and as a teacher/administrator, I monitor their note taking and make suggestions until a method that suits them is found.
I have had students who did everything by drawing. Others used programs that were designed to focus note taking by locking all the windows and applications away until a password was entered.
Many use services like Google Docs and do comparative note taking and group note taking with friends.
Every subject the students have to complete requires an immense amount of file and data management.
Math, Science, Art, Computer Science, and Music all have multiple software packages required to complete the curriculum.
Over an 8 year period, I have had many students come to visit or write from university. Universities in Canada, the USA, the UK, Asia, Australia, etc. Most would say they found the transition into university life, and the pace required, on par with their senior year in high school.
The main issue I have with the comments in this post, is that I have helped plan and prepare educational technology programs for the last 8 years. I have designed programs that have required technology for 1000s of students. These students are now headed to university, and apparently, they need to learn to slow down and close their laptops.
Some curriculum topics do not require technology. However, many do, and if you are requiring students to write, I can only assume they are sometimes submitting work electronically. If they are using software to make final content, then they should have the ability to use software to make drafts and notes.
In this article, “Laptop use lowers student grades, experiment shows”, the description under the photo reads, “Laptops are now commonplace in classrooms, and its not unusual for students to be on social networks, playing games or watching movies during class. (Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press)” .
I hope everyone realizes that as a school, it is not impossible to manage security and control things like social networks, movies, and games. Most school’s, including universities, simply work on a very old IT management model that does not allow the network to have flexible ways to manage the needs of various groups of people.
Usually, a school has most of the hardware and software it needs to implement what is required to stop entertainment and social networks. However, it only works if you plan and think like a school, and avoid planning and thinking like a company.
I challenge anyone who really believes that the core problem is technology to take real steps to prove it. I firmly believe the problem is in the curriculum, the lesson delivery, and the lack of adjusting to students as they change.
If proof is required, then this is what must be done. Forget about laptops. Turn off the Wifi. Turn off the internet access for students during lecture times and normal study times. Prove that success is possible with notes, text books, library resources, and all the things that were used to design the curriculum delivery. This includes no internet for teachers as well. Prove that the organisation can teach and learn with the knowledge and skills they possess, and the static resources they own.
As for myself, I know I can do it. Living in working in places that lack infrastructure force one to learn to construct a curriculum to meet the demands and limitations created by the situation.
If you take the challenge do it long enough for the students to take a 3rd party assessment of some type, and compare it to a school or group who has not taken the challenge. If you believe prove it. I think if technology is damaging students, the argument should be settled.