Throwing Students to the Wolves of Online Harassment

“Fed by our own uncertainties, occasional anecdotes, and sensational stories from the media, we ignore the data that overwhelmingly show that digital environments are no worse – and often better – than in-person environments. That is to say, the data show that in-person environments nearly always have higher rates of bullying, harassment, and abuse/predation than digital environments. The fear drives some schools to ban cellphones, disallow students and faculty from using Facebook, and lock down Internet filters so tightly that useful websites are inaccessible.”  Scott McLeod

7867170840_7a2057812e_m

I’d like to know what data Mr. McLeod is using to assert that online harassment is such a minor issue as to be of little consequence when considering school policies and practices. It’s quite a claim to leave unsupported. Continue reading “Throwing Students to the Wolves of Online Harassment”

“Fear of Change” as Ed-Tech Slander

For part two of this project, I’ll tackle what is perhaps the most common and reprehensible tactic deployed by ed-tech consultants to promote digital technologies in the classroom: the “fear of change” slander. Here’s Scott McLeod again:

“Another prevalent issue preventing technology change in schools is fear – fear of change, of the unknown, of letting go of what we know best, of being learners again. … Fears about digital learning tools are especially tricky because they’re primarily emotional, not logical.” Continue reading ““Fear of Change” as Ed-Tech Slander”

A Rebuttal, Part One

Scott McLeod, Director of Learning, Teaching, and Education at Prairie Lakes Area Education Association, has published an essay in the Winter edition of Independent School magazine. I have been a reader of Mr. McLeod’s blog and Twitter feed for some time, and though I don’t always agree with his views, I appreciate the sincerity of his effort to make American education more meaningful, authentic, and engaging. I understand that he is often addressing the vastly complex system of American public schools, which falls well outside the more privileged purview of my experience and competence. I fully and enthusiastically support the effort to bring the benefits of computing technology and network connectivity to underserved and disadvantaged students. Continue reading “A Rebuttal, Part One”

A Challenge for Proponents of Ed Tech

I am a teacher interested in transforming the learning experience of my students, but I am skeptical of the claims of those who champion educational technology. I am not yet convinced that introducing technology into my classroom (beyond what we already use) is necessary or desirable, or that it will help me achieve my goal of making my classroom a more engaging, student-centered space. Continue reading “A Challenge for Proponents of Ed Tech”