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Call for a Ban on Technology in Schools

First, let’s start with a definition: Technology is NOT anything invented after you were born (Alan Kay‎). It is anything created by humans including pencils, pens, paper, and chairs.

Over the last few years I’ve seen that technology does not increase student learning. You can’t just throw paper and pencils nor interactive whiteboards into classrooms and expect see increased student achievement. If I could, I’d ban all technologies from all classrooms. Then I’d ask teachers and students what they’d like to achieve and how it might achieve it. If at that point they explained a need for specific technologies that would increase their ability to achieve their goals then, and only then, would I give them the technologies.

Here is an updated version of my favourite cartoon on the subject:
Only pedagogy matters.

In the cartoon strip above you can see the great leaps in technology but no change in pedagogy. What should be asked in each and every cell of the strip? How about,

“Read what I’ve written. Summarize and interpret it. What do you think is working well? Give constructive criticism.”

–  www.creative-writing-now.com

Notice that the changes in the wording doesn’t require the student to use any technology. I’ve seen too much money wasted on technology in our schools. Let’s ban technology until good pedagogy is in place.

Listen to the www.CBC.ca/spark podcast about Inequality and Digital Engagement below.

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