Students Speak Up: Trust Us With Devices

The students who are, in the first few weeks, more interested in their handheld devices than in what I am saying in class are usually the same students who are failing the course around midterm. Access to these devices does not cause students to fail; rather, the student’s attention to the device is an outward sign that the student has already checked out of the course. That can be useful information to a teacher.

“I had two fourth grade teachers,” Koster said recently. “One who knows nothing, and one who knows everything” about using technology. The younger of the two teachers, said Ms. Koster, was an avid XBox gamer and able to talk to the kids about the digital devices they use at home. The older teacher, she said, was perhaps a little less tech-savvy.

If he was able to bring his iPod Touch to class, Koster rattled off the ways he could use it: using to look up words, typing up his essays and book reports instead of handwriting them, and looking up things he needed to know; and that’s on top of his content creation videos, and, of course, playing Minecraft. “I just learn by trial and error,” Koster said. “One minute, I’m asking, hmmm, how do I do this? Then yadda yadda – I just got a high score!” —Mind Shift

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