Posts Tagged ‘Center for Cognitive Technology’

iPads are Not the Solution

November 4, 2014


There is no doubt that iPads do provide the teacher with new and innovative ways of teaching a tired curriculum. But they should be 1 of a variety of different tools in a teacher’s arsenal. The fact that schools are making everything about the iPad is a very sad indictment on other tried and true ways to engage the learner.

As well as this, iPads may well come with some other points of concern:

Swiping a finger on an iPad is as natural to a modern preschooler as turning a page – but little research has been done on the impact of technology on children’s health.

Curtin University’s School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science wants families for a study into the effects using devices can have on children’s development and posture.

Researcher Erin Howie said many schools used iPads and parents asked Curtin for advice after some children complained of sore necks from bending over them.

The study iMove, iPlay will focus on children from birth to five to find out how often they use technology and what for.

Researchers will observe children aged three to five in a laboratory to measure their physical activity while they play.

In earlier research, the Curtin team found schoolchildren tended to hunch over more when using a tablet but also used a bigger variety of positions.

Dr Howie said it was better to use a neutral posture with neck and wrists straight.

Paul Taylor said sons Michael, 4, and Daniel, 2, were allowed to play educational games on an iPad or smartphone once or twice a week. “We’re more into getting them outside and playing and reading books,” he said.


Click on the link to read 7 Key Characteristics of a Digitally Competent Teacher

Click on the link to read The 10 Best Educational Apps for Children

Click on the link to read The Must Have iPad Apps for the Classroom

Click on the link to read Using Videogames in the Classroom

Click on the link to read Five Great Technology Tools for the English classroom

Are High-Tech Classrooms Just a Lot of Hype?

February 4, 2012

There is a current obsession with technology in the classroom. Even so, I would have thought that it was only sensible to bring as much technology as possible into the classroom. After all, we are trying to help children develop life skills. In today’s world technology is all around us. It is integral that our students have a familiarity if not competency with the latest in technology.

Michael Hiltzik of the LA Times disagrees:
Something sounded familiar last week when I heard U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski make a huge pitch for infusing digital technology into America’s classrooms.

Every schoolchild should have a laptop, they said. Because in the near future, textbooks will be a thing of the past.

Where had I heard that before? So I did a bit of research, and found it. The quote I recalled was, “Books will soon be obsolete in the schools…. Our school system will be completely changed in 10 years.”

the nirvana sketched out by Duncan and Genachowski at last week’s Digital Learning Day town hall was erected upon a sizable foundation of commercially processed claptrap. Not only did Genachowski in his prepared remarks give a special shout out to Apple and the iPad, but the event’s roster of co-sponsors included Google, Comcast, AT&T, Inteland other companies hoping to see their investments in Internet or educational technologies pay off.

How much genuine value is there in fancy educational electronics? Listen to what the experts say.

“The media you use make no difference at all to learning,” says Richard E. Clark, director of the Center for Cognitive Technology at USC. “Not one dang bit. And the evidence has been around for more than 50 years.”

Almost every generation has been subjected in its formative years to some “groundbreaking” pedagogical technology. In the ’60s and ’70s, “instructional TV was going to revolutionize everything,” recalls Thomas C. Reeves, an instructional technology expert at the University of Georgia. “But the notion that a good teacher would be just as effective on videotape is not the case.”

Many would-be educational innovators treat technology as an end-all and be-all, making no effort to figure out how to integrate it into the classroom. “Computers, in and of themselves, do very little to aid learning,” Gavriel Salomon of the University of Haifa and David Perkins of Harvard observed in 1996. Placing them in the classroom “does not automatically inspire teachers to rethink their teaching or students to adopt new modes of learning.”

I am a bit in the middle on this issue. I am in favour of all types of technology in the classroom, just not as a replacement for standard teaching. Those schools that are dominated by devises, lose out from the benefits of teacher/student interaction. But that is not to say that i-Pads in the classroom wont make any difference. It just means that those i-Pads are not more important to education than a quality teacher.

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