Vast amounts of information are now literally at students fingertips.
This article was originally published in The Technology Source http: Available online at http: The article is reprinted here with permission of the publisher.
To remain informed about the impact of technology in schools, educators should take note of two contemporary authors with powerful messages: Donald Tapscott and Jane Healy.
In Growing Up Digital: The Rise of the Net Generation, Tapscott purports that the Net Generation "N-Gen" is imposing its culture on all of us, changing the way individuals and society interact.
In Failure to Connect: Savvy educators will synthesize lessons learned from both authors and design instructional programs that meet the needs of a generation of interactive learners through technology.
According to Tapscott, today marks the first time in history that children are outpacing and overtaking adults on the technology track; parents, teachers, and other adults are looking to children for help with computers and computing.
Tapscott contends that the "N-Gen is transforming the new media from a cult enclave to a cacophonous cauldron of millions. Through their massive demographic muscle and unconstrained minds, N-Geners are creating a new world" p.
This world is one in which any idea, regardless of how threatening it may be to the contemporary social order, has voice and can spur radical views on such topics as business and the process of democratic governance.
Tapscott believes that N-Geners will soon want power in every domain and will take it. Using data from Internet discussions with approximately youngsters between the ages of 4 and 20, he examines the characteristics of N-Geners as well as their role in the "new" world; he then discusses the implications of technology and the N-Gen on our changing culture.
How will non-N-Geners fare in the future? Will they be able to share power? Will they have the courage to accept the N-Gen and its culture and media? Tapscott delves into these issues as he examines what it is like to grow up digital. Healy relates her observations of classrooms, labs, and homes across America and expresses concern that "While some very exciting and potentially valuable things are happening between children and computers, we are currently spending far too much money with too little thought.
It is past time to pause, reflect, and ask some probing questions" p. These probing questions include: Are computers being used in age-appropriate ways? Do program designers take into account the developmental needs of children?
Are teachers receiving sufficient technology training? Is "learning software" really what it purports to be, or is it simply "edutainment" that reinforces impulsive point-and-click behavior in the pursuit of a trivial goal?
Both authors agree that schools are ill-positioned to embrace technology and use it properly, and both advocate a significant redesign of instructional environments.
According to Tapscott, N-Gen kids think, learn, work, play, communicate, shop, and create in fundamentally different ways than their baby boomer parents.
He identifies the following ten characteristics of N-Gen culture and advises educators to take each into account as they rethink teaching and learning: Delving deeper into the characteristics of N-Geners, Tapscott notes that "Kids look at computers the same way boomers look at TV.
TV is a fact of life. So it is with kids and computers" p. What does this mean when we consider the larger context of how we prepare kids in school and what they need to learn to become contributing members of society? When and how should children interact with technology both at school and at home?
Healy and Tapscott are at odds in their opinions about the proper age for children to be exposed to technology. She notes that research supporting computers in preschool is almost nonexistent and that what is available has been "promulgated by those who stand to gain in some way from their advocacy" p.
She also cites literature that suggests that during the first six years of life, misuses of technology may adversely affect brain maturation and development.Columbia Public Schools are starting to integrate iPads into schools as well as allowing students to bring some of their own devices into the classroom.
Fulton Public Schools and Jefferson City Public Schools both have BYOD programs in the works as well. To remain informed about the impact of technology in schools, educators should take note of two contemporary authors with powerful messages: Donald Tapscott and Jane Healy.
In Growing Up Digital: The Rise of the Net Generation, Tapscott () purports that the Net Generation ("N-Gen") is imposing its culture on all of us, changing the way .
Then the additional money for technology in schools was canceled in , when it was believed the effort was waste in the classroom. However, in , Apple computers were donated to some schools.
By , 25 percent of America’s high schools were using computers for vocational and college preparation. The negative effects associated with computer use can be largely eliminated through proper supervision of computer use.
Thus, it is important that educators, parents, and other adults who work with children become computer literate and understand ways to guide children to .
Computer technology has affected education by promoting research, globalization and connectivity, educational games, distance education and online seminars, according to the Houston Chronicle. Furnished with modern computer laboratories, many schools now offer students the Internet for research and gathering information for assignments.
The Effectiveness of Technology in Schools: A Summary of Recent Research SLMQ Volume 25, Number 1, Fall studies demonstrated that using computer technology could motivate students, the effects of technology on interactions involving teachers and students in the learning environment, and.