Stigma surrounds the controversy of allowing students to be a part of the digital world within the classroom. NASSP comprised a panel from their Student Leadership Advisory Committee to attend an Educational Briefing about the usage of technology in classrooms on Tuesday, April 5, 2016 in Washington, D.C.
Stephan Phraner, a member of NASSP’s Student Leadership Advisory Committee, tweeted, “Why should technology be implemented in schools? The future of the world relies on technology.”
However, some staff members and parents are worried that students aren’t benefiting from it at all. Kathryn Procope, the Head of Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science, confronted this issue during the briefing.
Ms. Procope indicated that we need to “address those fears associated with technology and implement solutions, not ban policies.”
Mr. Felix Yerace, a Social Studies teacher, discussed his school’s policy on technology. In his district, they have a B.Y.O.D. system, and students are allowed to bring their own devices into school. To prevent abusing the privilege, they have a “Transparency Rule.” The rule states that if a student is thought to participate in suspicious activity, a staff member can ask to see the device. If the student refuses, the device will be confiscated, and the student’s privileges are suspended.
One of the main reasons why people are so worried about technology is because of the digital platforms that teenagers always seem to be on.
Felix Yerace commented, ”Students need to know that what they do online is not as anonymous as they think.”
Cyberbullying is the most common threat from this kind of technology. Schools and legislation are trying to prevent this kind of problem from arising.
Jim Myers, another student member of the Student Leadership Advisory Committee questioned, “Virginia recently passed a law where cyberbullies can be held criminally responsible for harassing others. Will other states follow?”
Yes, technology can be a great tool to use in the classroom, but students also need to be equipped with knowledge about how to most effectively use these tools in the classroom.
Teachers have professional development once a month, but should students have technology courses too? According to Dr. Michael Vinella, the assignment for our generation should be to define ‘ethics’ in the world of technology.